The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, September 20, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 23rd of December, 2009

Front Page

No bail for tree plundering

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked authorities concerned to draft a new law with stringent provisions for taking action against people responsible for rampant tree felling.

'Graft suspects' may get back Tk 1,232cr

Under pressure from different lobbies and also for legal reasons, the government is considering refund of the money deposited to the exchequer following anti-corruption drives during the last caretaker government.

New primary exam records 89pc pass

The results of Primary Education Terminal Examination, the newly introduced and largest public examination in Bangladesh, were published yesterday with 88.84 percent students passed.

6,000 workers stay put in Mauritius

The Mauritius government has withdrawn its earlier decision to send back around 6,000 Bangladeshi male workers, and proposed to import eco-friendly jute bags from the country.

Project sees only change in decisions

The government's race against time for introducing machine-readable passport (MRP) and machine-readable visa (MRV) is being delayed due to constant change of decisions in appointing a firm to implement the scheme.

Tobacco use on rise despite law

Use of tobacco among adults has increased to 43.3 percent this year than that of 37 percent in 2004 in spite of massive campaign and enactment of law, revealed Global Adult Tobacco Survey Bangladesh Report - 2009 yesterday.

Death warrants for 5 today

A Dhaka court is set to issue death warrants today against the five convicts in condemned cells in connection with the Bangabandhu assassination case.

Rural kids shine with hard work

It was the hard work, perseverance and relentless endeavour of her parents and teachers those were behind the success of Sadia Shikdar, a student of Monohardi Model Government Primary School in Narsingdi who stood first in the Primary Education Terminal Examination.

Stop lining up students on roads for reception

The government has directed educational institutions to stop the practice of making students line up on roads to welcome dignitaries, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said yesterday.

Students go berserk over bus fare row

A group of Dhaka University students vandalised at least 30 vehicles and several ticket counters at Shahbagh in the capital after employees of a bus counter stabbed two students following a row over bus fare.

4,000MW power bid by next year

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the government would invite tenders for generating 4,000-megawatt electricity by December 2010 for tackling the nagging power crisis in the country.

Bangladesh seizes global spotlight

Bangladesh has drawn the attention of the global community during the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen through a successful 'climate diplomacy' under the leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Southwest to get gas

The government is going to set up gas pipeline from Kushtia to Khulna to build power plants both in government and private sectors.

Make MP's advice must for UZ body

A parliamentary body yesterday asked the food ministry to take steps so that lawmaker's advice is made mandatory for upazila committee monitoring Food for Work programme.

A birthday party to remember

Formerly conjoined twins Krishna and Trishna had their first special birthday in Australia yesterday when their mother passed the day restless apart from them in Bangladesh longing to give the girls kisses on the occasion.

Gilani, Zardari to resolve issues 'constitutionally'

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani yesterday called on President Asif Ali Zardari to brief him on his meeting with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) President Shahbaz Sharif in Lahore, and the two leaders agreed that there should not be a confrontation between institutions.

Same offence, same penalty

Pakistani court has ordered that two men have their ears and noses cut off, as punishment for doing the same to a woman who refused to marry one of them.

Court may sit in Old High Court building

The government is likely to set up tribunal for holding the trial of 1971 war criminals at the Old High Court building on the Supreme Court premises shifting the existing offices from Abdul Gani Road in the capital.

Viqarunnisa, Monipur High School on top

Viqarunnisa Noon School and College, Monipur High School and Ideal School and College of Dhaka secured the top three positions in terms of securing highest number of first divisions in the primary terminal examinations across the country.

4,000MW power bid by next year

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the government would invite tenders for generating 4,000-megawatt electricity by December 2010 for tackling the nagging power crisis in the country.

Messi on top of the world

Barcelona and Argentina striker Lionel Messi was crowned World Player of the Year by world football's ruling body FIFA on Monday.

Rights court slams Austria over asylum seeker abuse

The European Court of Human Rights yesterday slammed Austria over the mistreatment of a hunger-striking asylum-seeker by prison wardens who dragged him down a staircase and stabbed him with a pen.

Dec is 'very real deadline' for Iran over nuke issue

December is "a very real deadline" for the international community ahead of possible new sanctions on Iran and its nuclear program, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs warned yesterday.

Iran militiamen attack offices of pro-reform cleric

Around 1,000 members of Iran's Basij Islamic militia attacked offices of pro-reform cleric Grand Ayatollah Yusuf Sanei in the central shrine city of Qom, a reformist website reported yesterday.

Editorial

Ministers in self-critical mode

SELF-CRITICISM and introspection, especially in politics, generally go a long way towards not only promoting the cause of democracy but also that of good governance. Regrettably, it is a very rare phenomenon in Bangladeshi politics. From that perspective, one cannot but appreciate the sentiments expressed the other day by two ministers about the performance of the year-old Awami League-led government in certain areas of governance. Both Motia Chowdhury, the agriculture minister, and Abdul Latif Siddiqui, the jute and textiles minister, are senior figures in the government and, therefore, what they say on the issues is naturally taken seriously. In the present instance, they have not hesitated to be critical of the activities of their party men over the past year and at the same time have been courageous enough to acknowledge the drawbacks their government has suffered from.

Industries reneging on ETP

A mobile court drive against environment offending industries initiated by the Department of Environment (DoE) in Tongi and Konabari has led to an eye-opening revelation. Even the industries with effluent treatment plants (ETPs) keep polluting adjoining water bodies. Just add to this the numerously mushrooming manufacturing units, and you have a dreadful picture of the magnitude of river pollution through untreated chemical wastes.

Wars, duplicity and worlds destroyed

THERE are just wars and there are wars based on duplicity. There are the wars you wage in defence of a human cause and there are the wars you impose on others because of the ego and the arrogance in you. All that ego and all that arrogance leads up to lies. And wars pursued through lies end up leaving tens of thousands, even millions, dead.

Good and bad news from Copenhagen

THE Copenhagen climate change conference generated much heat across the world but the outcome has disappointed many because there was no legally binding agreement to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) by 2020 or 2050.

Balanced democratic growth

THE basis of democracy is not maximum consensus. It is the tenuous middle ground between imposed uniformity and implacable hostility. In the process of the genesis of democracy, consensus enters at least at two points: (a) a sense of community that is above mere opinion and mere agreement, and (b) there must be a conscious adoption of democratic rules which enlarge step-by-step the area of consensus as democracy moves down its crowded agenda.

Sports

Mashrafe retained as captain

There has been uncertainty over the fitness of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza but the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has still retained the pace spearhead as captain for the upcoming tri-nation one-day series involving India, Sri Lanka and hosts Bangladesh.

BCB, Nimbus at loggerheads

With the tri-nation series involving India and Sri Lanka knocking on the door, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has been facing a problem with Nimbus Sports International Ltd, which holds the worldwide marketing agency rights.

Sachin sees India home

Sachin Tendulkar hit a solid 96 not out to power India to an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the third one-day international here on Monday.

Yuvraj out of Lanka ODIs

India batsman Yuvraj Singh has been ruled out of the ongoing one-day international series against Sri Lanka because of a finger injury. Yuvraj had picked up the injury while fielding during the second Twenty20 in Mohali and was subsequently unavailable for the first two ODIs.

V-Day tennis underway

The Victory Day Tennis Competition got underway yesterday with 96 participants including 16 women taking part in the five-day meet at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna.

Messi voted the best

Barcelona's Argentine forward Lionel Messi, who earlier this month won the European Footballer of the Year, was on Monday named FIFA World Footballer of the Year 2009. Messi, who made history by becoming the first Argentine player to win the award, beat off the other finalists Kaka, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and last year's winner, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Veeru thanks bowlers

Indian captain Virender Sehwag has praised his bowlers for their performance in the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Cuttack. The hosts won comfortably by seven wickets on Monday to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.

Who after Ntini?

South African cricket's celebration of Makhaya Ntini's 100th Test was tinged with concern about the shortage of obvious successors to take over as a black African standard bearer in the sport.

Awaiting some music!

It won't matter whether Ricky Ponting or Phillip Hughes play against Pakistan on Boxing Day, they can both expect a barrage of short balls. Australia are waiting on Ponting's fitness after he was hit on the left elbow ducking a Kemar Roach bouncer in Perth and Chris Gayle, the West Indies captain, said they unearthed a glaring weakness in the Australian's game.

V-Day T20

Dashara Palli Mangal Samity clinched the title of the Victory Day Twenty20 cricket tournament with a four- wicket win over Provat Sangha in the final at the Shahid Miraz-Tapan stadium in Manikganj yesterday.

PCL surprise!

Pakistani all-rounder Abdul Razzak and paceman Navedul Hasan signed up for Noakhali Top Sports for the upcoming Port City League (PCL) Twenty20 cricket tournament to be held in Sharjah in March next year.

Watson was 'baited'?

Shane Watson has justified his exuberant celebration of Chris Gayle's dismissal in Perth by saying he was baited by the West Indies captain. Watson was fined 15 per cent of his match fee for his roaring celebration in the second-innings on Saturday and has been criticised for his behaviour, with Geoff Lawson likening it to a four-year-old's tantrum.

Anxious times for Steyn

Dale Steyn is not a certain starter for the Boxing Day Test in Durban and expects an early decision to be made over his hamstring injury. The South African fast bowler was ruled out of the opening match at Centurion on the morning of the game, handing a debut to Friedel de Wet, who almost bowled South Africa to victory with 4 for 55 on the final day Sunday.

V-Day Hockey

The Bangladesh Hockey Federation XI almost confirmed their final berth of the Victory Day Hockey Tournament with a 4-2 win over Bangladesh Air Force at the Moulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

Farashganj draw again

Visiting Chittagong Abahani held Farashganj SC to a goalless draw in their Bangladesh League encounter at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday.

Mancini targets title

Roberto Mancini crowned an eventful first news conference as Manchester City manager by saying he wanted to bring the English Premier League title to Eastlands next season.

Lyon look for boost

Lyon captain Cris has urged his side to ditch their current lacklustre form against Montpellier on Wednesday.

Levein on brink of Scotland job

Craig Levein could be appointed manager of the Scotland national side on Tuesday, according to British media reports.

Ghana pick Essien

Chelsea midfielder Mickael Essien has been named in the Ghana team for next month's African Nations Cup but captain Stephen Appiah has been left out along with Sulley Ali Muntari.

Donovan wins top US award

Landon Donovan was named winner of the US Soccer Federation's male athlete of the year award on Monday after helping spark the Americans into next year's World Cup in South Africa.

Rodwell out for 4 weeks

Everton will be without midfielder Jack Rodwell for four weeks, the English Premier League side said Monday.

New Zealand set Mexico date

New Zealand will play Mexico in March as part of the buildup to their first World Cup finals appearance since 1982, officials said Tuesday.

Business

Banks to reschedule loans without downpayment

Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said the industrial units that faced closure or were affected by the anti-graft drive during the last caretaker government rule will have scope for loan rescheduling without any downpayment.

DIBOR takes off in Jan

Banks will get a benchmark interest rate or reference rate by introducing Dhaka inter-bank offered rate (DIBOR) formally from January 1, Bangladesh Bank (BB) said yesterday.

Wage commission for workers soon: Minister

The government will form wage commission for regular industrial workers of all sectors within 'the shortest possible time' and amend the existing labour law, said Labour and Employment Minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday.

HC dedicated benches likely for tax cases

The government has taken a move for formation of two dedicated benches in the High Court Division in January to fast-track tax-related cases.

BB cuts bank service charges

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has directed all commercial banks not to impose any kind of service charge on savings and current accounts.

Spice it up

True Distributions Ltd introduced a series of Spice mobile handsets in Dhaka yesterday, looking to grab a share of the vibrant cellphone market.

Matia backs farming by surface water

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday encouraged rain-fed aman cultivation, which is less costly than boro farming that requires underground water irrigation.

Stocks gain significantly

Dhaka stocks significantly gained yesterday, driven by sharp rise in mutual fund and telecom sector share prices.

Global crisis fallout to linger

Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman has feared effects of the global crisis will linger for some time to come.

Farmers to get cash subsidy

The government plans to provide cash subsidy to farmers, mainly to small and marginal ones, for diesel-based irrigation during the current boro season, Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury said yesterday.

Jet Airways to fly direct to Mumbai

Jet Airways introduces new flights to connect Dhaka to Mumbai from today, the Indian airline said in a statement.

Dubai World in debt talks

Dubai's heavily indebted group, Dubai World, began talks Monday with its lenders over its request to restructure 22 billion dollars in debt but has made no specific proposals, a company spokesman said.

Beijing cars pass 4 million mark

Mao Chunchun and her husband stand in the sprawling Yayuncun Auto Market on the outskirts of Beijing eyeing Hyundai sports utility vehicles on offer for as much as 250,000 yuan (36,600 dollars).

Summit gets NTTN licence

Summit Communications Ltd (SCL) was granted a licence for the Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN) yesterday.

BRAC Bank to open exchange houses abroad

BRAC Bank, a fast growing bank, plans to open exchange houses in Malaysia, Singapore and Italy, aiming to attract more remittance through its own channel.

Asian shares buoyant

Asian shares rose Tuesday in thin pre-holiday bargain-buying, with sentiment buoyed by overnight gains on Wall Street as a weaker yen boosted Japanese exporters.

Oil rises

Oil prices rose slightly on Tuesday as Opec prepared to formally announce it was making no changes to the cartel's official crude output levels.

Britain stuck in recession

Britain remains the last major economy in recession after official data Tuesday showed the country's output shrank by 0.2 percent in the third quarter.

FBI probes hacker attack on Citigroup

The FBI is investigating a hacker attack on Citigroup Inc that led to the theft of tens of millions of dollars, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Shanghai IPOs to triple in value in 2010

The value of initial public offerings in Shanghai is forecast to more than triple in 2010, reflecting the strong rebound in the Chinese economy, global accounting firm Ernst and Young said.

Thailand expects 15m tourists next year

Thailand said Tuesday it expects a rise of up to ten percent in the number of tourists travelling to the kingdom next year, after political turmoil contributed to a drop in visitors in 2009.

Metropolitan

Stay aloof from criminal activities

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday called on Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders and activists not to get involved in criminal activities, including tender manipulation.

Introduce lane system on major roads

A parliamentary body at a meeting yesterday stressed the need for increasing fitness of police members and suggested introducing age-based training for them in addition to physical, mental, motivational and armed training.

Call to include safety edn course in school curricula

Speakers at a roundtable yesterday stressed the need for incorporating safety education course in the academic curricula at primary and secondary levels for growing ethical and moral values among children.

Barisal division scores high, Sylhet low

Students of Barisal division did the best in the primary education terminal examination with pass rate of 92.94 percent, while Sylhet division with 78.25 percent took bottom position.

'Women's contribution yet to get due recognition'

Women played a very important role during the liberation war, but they never received the recognition they deserve, said speakers at a reception yesterday.

Miscreant shot in gunfight with police

One miscreant sustained bullet injuries in a gunfight between police and armed cadres at Karial slum in Gulshan area in the city yesterday.

Tafazzul takes oath as CJ today

Newly appointed Chief Justice Md Tafazzul Islam will be sworn into office this morning, as outgoing Chief Justice MM Ruhul Amin retired from the service yesterday afternoon.

HC asks govt not to disturb Amar Desh editor, 2 others

The High Court yesterday directed the government not to disturb the Amar Desh Editor Mahmudur Rahman and two others till January 3 in connection with a defamation case filed in Magura.

JS body asks ministry to investigate irregularities

The parliamentary standing committee on liberation war affairs ministry yesterday discussed the violation of the contract's terms and conditions of the Gulistan Complex of Muktijoddha Kalyan Trust.

Int'l Year of Natural Fibres to be observed tomorrow

With the slogan 'discover natural fibres' International Year of Natural Fibres will be observed tomorrow in the country as else where in the world, says a press release.

Victory Day discussion Saturday

The Greater Faridpur Service Holders Welfare Association will hold a discussion at the BCIC auditorium in the city at 4:30pm on Saturday to celebrate the Victory Day, says a press release.

CNG buses continue to charge higher fare

Most CNG bus operators in the city continue to charge passengers higher fare ignoring the government-approved rate, causing suffering to commuters.

'Protect rights of persons with disabilities'

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday stressed the need to implement and monitor the law on protecting rights of the persons with disabilities (PWDs) for which a draft is yet to be finalised.

Introduce second shift of trial

President Zillur Rahman yesterday emphasised quick disposal of the pending cases for minimising sufferings of the people seeking justice.

Rampura OC closed on bribery charge

Officer-in-Charge (OC) Ali Ahmed Hasmi of Rampura Police Station was withdrawn yesterday after publishing a report on The Daily Star on Monday on his alleged bribery.

6 stabbed in city

Criminals stabbed six people in two separate incidents in the city's Kafrul area within a span of 20 minutes.

De Biasi replaces Marino at Udinese

Italian top flight side Udinese have fired coach Pasquale Marino and replaced him with Gianni De Biasi, the northeast club announced on Tuesday.

Training best weapon for a soldier

The award giving ceremony of No. 82 Junior Command and Staff Course of Bangladesh Air Force was held at the BAF Command and Staff Training Institute (CSTI) at Dhaka Cantonment here yesterday.

Bulgarian players under tax scrutiny

A total of 261 Bulgarian top flight football players are under scrutiny for suspected tax evasion, the national revenue agency announced Tuesday.

Chevron support for better housing

Chevron Bangladesh recently handed over a cheque to Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) to support low-income families to improve substandard housing through cost effective means at Modhupur in Tangail, says a press release.

ASA official shot

A gang of criminals sprayed an NGO office with bullets at North Moisundi under Sutrapur in the city in broad daylight yesterday, leaving its manager injured.

'Establish positive image of UP'

Democracy Watch, a non-government organisation, yesterday urged the government to take steps for informing people about the existing laws, ordinances, policies and important notifications relating to Union Parishad (UP) so people's rights can be ensured.

National

Big health complexes remain virtually showpieces

Two newly constructed upazila health complexes in Bogra district have remained virtually inoperative due to lack of manpower and other facilities.

Huge chemically treated bananas destroyed

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday destroyed chemically treated 6,000 bunches of banana worth Tk 9 lakh at Jalchhatra, the largest banana market in Madhupur upazila of Tangail district.

Schoolboy rescued, outlaw arrested for abduction

Local people in Meherpur rescued a schoolboy abducted from Kushtia Sadar upazila and caught one of the abductors on Monday night.

BNP men batoned for defying Section 144 in Narsingdi

At least 20 BNP men were injured as police charged baton on them while holding a programme at Parulia playground under Palash upazila defying Section 144 yesterday noon.

Brickfield owner kidnapped

Members of outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) early yesterday kidnapped a brickfield owner from his house at Bhuiaganti village under Solonga police station in Raiganj upazila.

Science students lay siege to RU admin building

Several hundred students of five departments under science faculty of Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday laid a siege to the administrative building demanding certificates under newly formed engineering faculty.

Man kills his 2 kids, hurts mother, wife

A man hacked to death his two children and injured his mother and wife critically at Matiabandha village in Madhyanagar upazila of Sunamganj district Monday evening.

Four more Bogra Shibir activists arrested

Police yesterday arrested four more activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) in connection with Sunday's violent clashes at Government Azizul Haque University College.

Rival BNP men foil party programme, lock in clash

Ten BNP men were injured in a factional clash in Mymensingh yesterday while 15 including a policeman hurt as BNP and JCD locked in a clash in Gaibandha on Sunday.

Golden jubilee of Mymensingh Press Club

A three-day programme marking the golden jubilee of Mymensingh Press Club will begin today.

Concern at Ctg vet university situation

Agitating Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and General Students' Forum and Teachers' Association of Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU) on Monday held separate press conferences on the present campus situation involving the vice-chancellor of the university.

Man kills younger brother

A man killed his younger brother at Kuturikona village under Netrakona Sadar upazila on Monday night. The dead was identified was Abdur Rahim of village Kuturikona. Police and locals said, at about 11:00 pm Abdur Razzak hit his younger brother with a sharp weapon at a stage of altercation. Rahim died on the spot. A case was filed with Netrakona police station but Razzak went into hiding.

Two held with arms

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two alleged criminals along with arms on Chittagong road in Siddhirganj upazila on Monday. Acting on a tip-off, a team of Rab-11 raided a vehicle of Econo exclusive paribahan near the Roads and Highways office and held Rabiul Hasan alias Khokon, 22, and Yousuf Khan, 25. One foreign made pistol, one homemade gun and six bullets were recovered from their possession.

Fake Rab man held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members detained a fake Rab man from a hotel in the city on Sunday afternoon. The arrestee was identified as Ahsan Ullah Hasan, 43, of Shamserpur Purbopara village in Laksam upazila of Comilla district. Acting on secret information, a team of Rab-9 raided the hotel of one Babul Mia at about 3:00pm and caught Hasan red-handed while he and his accomplice were taking money from a man in the name of selling old cars of Rab. Sensing presence of the elite force, Hasan's accomplice Ankur Das managed to flee but Hasan was held from the spot.

Press club executives

The 15-member executive body of Kurigram Press Club for 2009-2011 was elected on Friday with Prothom Alo correspondent Shafi Khan and the daily Jugantar correspondent Ahsan Habib Nilu as president and general secretary respectively. The other elected members of the body are the daily Ittefaq correspondent Fazle Elahi Shawpon and the daily Nayadiganta and Diganta TV correspondent Rezaul Karim Reza as vice-presidents, the daily Dinkal correspondent Harun Ur Rashid Harun as joint-secretary, the daily Janakantha correspondent Raju Mostafiz as treasurer, the daily Samokal and BSS correspondent Abdul Khaleq Faruk as literary and cultural secretary, the Daily Star correspondent Abdul Wahed as sports secretary, the daily Manobjamin correspondent Mizanur Rahman Mintu as publicity and publication secretary, the daily Khabor correspondent Ahmedul Kabir as social welfare secretary, local daily Chawa Pawa correspondent Abul Hossain Babul as office secretary and Radio Bangladesh correspondent Md Shahabuddin, the daily Shakti correspondent Rabindra Nath Roy, the daily Sangbad correspondent Mominul Islam Monju and Editor of local daily Kurigram Khabor SM Sana Lal Bakshi as members.

Youth's body recovered

Police on Saturday morning recovered the body of an unidentified youth, aged about 30, from a paddy field at Suriyapur village under Nachole upazila. Criminals took the youths to the paddy field and murdered him, said Rawsan Kabir, sub-inspector of Nachole police station. On information, police recovered the body at around 10:30pm and sent it to Sadar hospital morgue for autopsy.

Letters

Global warming and development

With China bankrolling the U.S. budget deficits, it can provide $100 billion to other countries.

Muharram and Karbala

Muharram is here once again. It is the first month of the Islamic calendar. Unlike other calendars the Islamic year starts not with celebrations but with prayers and sermons remembering the martyrs of Karbala. Karabala in Iraq was the place where the followers of Islam, very small in number, in 61 Hijri/680 A.D., led by Hazrat Imam Hussain (AS), the grandson of the Prophet of Islam Hazrat Muhammad (Pbuh), confronted Yazid's force which was opposed to the Islamic teachings. His army was huge in number, well-equipped soldiers, cavalries and archers, personifying evil and tyranny, gathered on the banks of River Euphrates. But the Imam's handful of men were not deterred. On 10 Muharram the decisive battle took place and these brave men, one by one, laid down their lives bravely and boldly embracing martyrdom. Their sacrifice was to uphold and protect Islam from the inimical and perverse force which was contriving against it, bent upon distorting and obfuscating the teachings of Islam and replacing it with their brand of teachings which served their personal interests and solidified kingship and dynasty rule.

Primary education

Still now, many children have no access to education. There are more than 18 million children of primary school age (6-10 years) in Bangladesh out of a total population of 137 million. Almost half of them are girls.

Two slogans

When I look back to this day of victory in 1971 (16 December 1971), it flashes before my eyes hundreds of freedom fighters entering Dhaka City with arms up in their hands and Joy Bangla, Joy Bangabandhu in their thunderous voices. But the slogan that contributed to the birth of this nation was let to sink into oblivion only after four years of our victory.

Deforestation

Deforestation is now an issue of major concern. Deforestation has become so indiscriminate that it will not be surprising if Bangladesh turns into a desert very soon. It is like cutting the branch of a tree on which we are sitting. This is happening when everybody is worried about climate change and we know deforestation is one of the reasons behind further warming of climate.

Brickfields

Nine illegal brickfields have been set up in and around Gopalganj municipality and these are producing bricks by using firewood. These brickfields are violating the rules and regulations and have been set up on government Khas land.

Bloodbath in South Asia

South Asia is the worst victim of insurgency. Every day lots of human causalities take place in this sub-continent where the value of life is hardly considered. Recently, the suicide squads blew up a school in Pakistan resulting in the massacre of innocent students. Sometimes without any reason, the suicide bombers detonate bombs.

Reopening of closed mills

The prime minister has indicated that the closed jute mills might be reopened when Sramik League stalwarts called on her on the occasion of foundation day of the Sramik League. Similar declaration of opening of closed mills was given by the industries minister, just after taking charge of the ministry. Unfortunately, nothing tangible could be perceived till date regarding restart of Chittagong Steel Mills, though this lone mill in the steel sector was closed between 1996-2001 and the industries minister of the present government hails from Chittagong. It is needless to describe the importance of steel, and reopening the lone steel mills should be a priority for the government, I believe.

In memoriam

Quite a few people manage to occupy a permanent position in the hearts of the people by virtue of their good deeds. My father Late Md Nabiruzzaman was one of them. His life is an instance of plain-living and high-thinking.

Cheating by shopkeepers

Every day a large number of people go to Dhaka city markets to buy essential food items to meet their household needs. Invariably, each shopkeeper gives less quantity for each purchase to every buyer. Hence, for every purchase the buyer is cheated at least by 100 grams or more.

Give me a job

December 29, 2008 was a great victory day for the AL and the people. The majority of people supported the AL. As a first time voter, I also dreamt of a better life. But it is to be remembered that a huge number of people are unemployed. They have no job. So, the government should recruit every unemployed capable person as pledged by the ruling party's election manifesto. It is difficult to give everyone a job, but not impossible.

Transport system

A few years back a good transport system was seen in the streets connecting all most all the corners of the city. Buses like Premium, Nirapad & Volvo along with other buses used to serve to the satisfaction of the commuters. But to our utter surprise, Premium & Nirapad buses discontinued & the last blow for the people came from withdrawal of Volvo buses to Uttara point. More & more comfortable buses have to be put into service. Yes, the authorities should do it on a priority basis to mitigate the present intolerable sufferings of the people.

Road safety

On 6 December, I was shocked to see a picture in your newspaper, showing how a mother with her child were crossing the road near a speeding CNG auto-rickshaw. That time they were on the Zebra Crossing. There are thousands of school going children who attempt to cross the road in a most hazardous situation. Children are our national assets. If we cannot give them safety and provide congenial atmosphere, how do we expect to leave good citizens for future? The developed and many other underdeveloped countries strictly follow the traffic rules, especially for children. It is most unfortunate that there is no such law in this country for children where they are exposed to traffic hazards.

House rent

About 60% people of Dhaka city live in rented houses. Most of them are service holders whose monthly income is very limited. More than half their salary is given as house rent. With the rest they manage somehow their domestic affairs. But the house-owners increase the house rents once or twice a year without any genuine reason. As a result, the people with fixed income suffer.

Irrigation

Dr. Roy's informative and very appropriate write-up, published in your Science & Life page on 8th.December; should be followed up vigorously at the farming level; mobilising all resources of the government, so that it is put into practice as early as possible. All methods of publicising this technique should be mobilised in all our audiovisual media.

The mangrove forests

It is well known to all of us that The Sundarbans is the leading mangrove forest in the planet. The term Sundarbans can be literally translated as : “Beautiful forest.” There is a myth that the name might have originated from the Sundari trees that are available in Sundarbans in great numbers. On the other hand, it has been anticipated that the name is a corruption of Samudraban ("Sea Forest") or Chandra-bandhe (name of an ancient ethnic group). However, the commonly established analysis is the one connected with Sundari trees.

Savar bus-stand

The condition of the road at Savar is deteriorating day by day. Road accident is very common in this city. Traffic police have no control at all. Often the vehicles run on the wrong side at good speed. It is unimaginable that even the buses too run in the wrong side. How long can it continue? The situation of Savar Bazar is horrible. Rickshaw-puller to car driver, nobody pays any heed to traffic rules. Though every day a huge number of people go to Dhaka, yet there is no bus-stand. The situation worsens in the rainy season. While entering into the bus, people often try to defeat each other. Can't the bus operators form a queue? Because of CRP, a huge number of foreigners come to Savar. Their experience on the road is not good at all.

Stop harassment

Most people of Dhaka city move by bus, rickshaw, CNG auto-rickshaw and taxicab. But it is painful that like other people women, patients and aged are being harassed by the drivers of the above mentioned vehicles. The drivers demand exorbitant fares from the commuters.

Good intention

Our dearest Prophet Muhammad (SM) says, ''Each task of believers depends on their intention. One will, therefore, get a result of work according to one's intention.'' It implies that if a person does a work with a good intention, s/he will get the result accordingly, and vice versa. So, all of us should do any work with good intention.

International

Blast kills 3 near Pak press club

A suicide bomber yesterday attacked a Pakistan journalists' club, killing three people in the first assault on media offices blamed on Islamist militants in the troubled country.

China rejects UK claims it 'hijacked' climate talks

China dismissed yesterday a British editorial accusing it of "hijacking" the UN-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen as baseless and politically motivated.

India 'foils Kashmir infiltration attempt'

Indian security forces say they have foiled an attempt by militants to infiltrate the international border in Indian-administered Kashmir.

Washington 'forged' nuclear documents: Ahmadinejad

Documents revealed last week that appear to show Tehran is working on a nuclear bomb trigger were "forged" by Washington, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told a US news network.

UN presses Sri Lanka over LTTE killings

The Sri Lankan government says the UN has asked it to explain allegations that Tamil Tiger rebel leaders were executed as they tried to surrender.

Maoists' nationwide shutdown in Nepal enters third day

Three years after the end of Nepal's civil war, the Himalayan nation is in a state of political paralysis reflected in the blocked streets of the capital and empty parliament this week.

Obama govt to pressure Myanmar on democratic reforms

If talks with Myanmar over democratic reforms fail, the Obama administration could tie up large amounts of money that the country's ruling generals stash in international banks from the sale of natural gas.

Indians above other immigrants in US: Forbes

Pepsico chief executive Indira Nooyi inevitably tops the list of what Forbes calls "Eight Indian-Flavoured CEOs" who lead US corporations with revenues of at least $2 billion as the premier business magazine chronicles the rise of Indians in corporate ranks in America.

US stops aid to Nepal over human rights row

The US has passed a law that denies financial aid to the Nepal government, amid stepped up pressure on the country's army to fulfil its human rights obligations, a news report has said.

Egypt antiquities chief to demand Nefertiti bust

Egypt's antiquities chief said he will formally demand the return of the 3,300-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti from a Berlin museum after confirming it was sneaked out of Cairo through fraudulent documents.

Nobody is untouchable in politics: BJP

Expressing confidence on getting an absolute majority in the Jharkhand Assembly polls, the BJP yesterday said that 'nobody is untouchable' as it would not rule out the possibility of looking for allies if it fails to get majority in the results tomorrow.

'US forces operated covert raid in Pakistan'

Special US forces have reportedly carried out multiple secret raids on the al-Qaeda leadership in Pakistan's lawless tribal regions along the Afghan border, a former Nato officials has disclosed.

Al-Qaeda vows revenge

Men claiming to be al-Qaeda members have vowed to avenge those killed in a Yemeni air strike on one of the group's training camps in southern Yemen, Al-Jazeera television reported yesterday.

First Eurostar train leaves Paris

Eurostar resumed its high-speed rail service linking Britain, France and Belgium yesterday after a three-day suspension that stranded tens of thousands of travellers during the holiday season and left French President Nicolas Sarkozy indignant.

Deported Uighurs told UN of fears of China return

Ethnic Uighur asylum-seekers forcibly repatriated over the weekend had warned the UN refugee agency they feared long jail terms or even the death penalty if they were sent back to China, according to statements seen by The Associated Press.

S Korea wants 6-party talks 'no later' than Feb

Six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear disarmament must resume soon if they are to be revived at all; South Korean Foreign Minister Yu Myung-Hwan was quoted yesterday.

Runaway teen sailor escorted back to Netherlands

Police say 14-year-old sailor Laura Dekker has arrived back in the Netherlands after disappearing from home and flying to the Caribbean.

World has 'betrayed' Gaza civilians

The world has "betrayed" civilians in the Gaza Strip by failing to end a blockade of the Hamas-run enclave, 16 rights groups, including Amnesty International and Oxfam, said yesterday.

Guantanamo 'hell on Earth', says Somali detainee

A Somali just home from eight years in the US jail at Guantanamo Bay told AFP the prison was "hell on Earth", and alleged torture there had scarred some of his fellow inmates.

2 New Zealand farmers guilty on cow cruelty charge

A New Zealand court convicted two farmers on an animal cruelty charge yesterday for impaling a live cow with a tractor's fork.

Arts & Entertainment

Spirited performances by Fahmida and Bappa

The latest instalment of Bengal Foundation's monthly musical soiree 'Pran-er Khela' was held at Bengal Gallery in Dhanmondi on December 21. Popular singers Fahmida Nabi and Bappa Majumdar performed at the programme.

Roving shutterbugs zoom in on nature

A weeklong photography exhibition titled 'Alo Chhayaye Bangladesh' ended yesterday at the Zainul Gallery, Faculty of Fine Arts, DU. Organised by the Bangladesh Tourism Expansion Forum (BTEF), the exhibition opened on December 16.

A demonstration of indigenous cultural heritage in Dinajpur

A mela (fair) of a different kind was held recently in Dinajpur, celebrating and showcasing the rich and varied cultures and traditions of the indigenous communities living in the northern districts.

Renowned Indian artist KG Subramanyan to be in town

To mark the 95th birth anniversary of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, Faculty of Fine Arts, DU will hold a daylong 'Zainul Mela' at the FFA premises on December 29. Vice-chancellor (VC) of Dhaka University Professor AAMS Arefin Siddique will inaugurate the festival. Noted Indian painter K.G. Subramanyan is likely to attend the programme as honorary guest. Subramanyan is one of the most revered contemporary painters in India. He is noted for his satires and folk motifs. As part of the 'Zainul Mela', Dhaka University will honour Subramanyan and Shafiuddin Ahmed (the senior-most painter in Bangladesh).

Vignettes of Liberation War

To mark the Victory Day, a three-day exhibition of visual documents of Liberation War and cultural programme were held recently in Kurigram Shilpakala Academy.

Winter pitha and vegetable fair in Jhenidah

A traditional pitha (winter cake) and vegetable mela was held on Monday at the Kaliganj premises of the “Hunger Free World” (HFW) in Jhenidah. This entertaining event was organised at the initiative of Japan -based voluntary organisation Women Ending Hunger with a view to preserving the age old traditions of villages in the country.

Cultural programme for differently abled

A cultural programme for the differently abled, featuring songs, dances and an annual theatre festival was held at the premises of Magura Govt. Hossain Shahid Suhruwardy College last Sunday.

OP-ED

Bangladesh: No more a safe haven for terrorists

RECENTLY, there have been reports of arrest of some important United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) leaders. There seems to be considerable speculation in the Indian and Bangladeshi media whether some leaders of the above-mentioned organisation were "handed over" to India or whether they were "picked up" by the Indian security agencies when they crossed over to India, or whether they "surrendered" in India.

Implication of limiting global temperature rise

THE recent Copenhagen Conference, known as COP-15, has recognised the need to keep the rise of global temperature due to greenhouse gases (GHG) to below 2°C, counting from the pre-industrial era, without making it binding on anybody. The conference was attended by some 45,000 delegates, 119 heads of states or governments, and 193 countries, which is unprecedented.

Environment

Impact of climate change on St. Martin's Island

Global climate change poses a high risk to the biodiversity of coral reefs of St. Martin's. The major threats to the coral reefs are high levels of sedimentation, cyclones, storm surges and beach erosion. Global warming is a matter of major concern for coral reefs of this island as elsewhere.

How effective is a non-binding climate change deal?

The performance of the industrialized countries, according to Kyoto Protocol, does not speak bright for this planet's future and humanity at large.If the Copenhagen accord did not act and monitor the projects to be undertaken by the developed and developing countries the situation on the planet would simply become worse.

Humans, water and climate

According to the 'Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change' (IPCC), water is involved in all components of the climate system; therefore, climate change affects water through a number of mechanisms.



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