The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, August 1, 2014


News of: Sunday, 27th of December, 2009

Front Page

Blast kills 4

At least four workers were killed and 13 injured in an oil tanker explosion at a ship-breaking yard at Madam Bibir Hat in Sitakunda yesterday morning.

Medical study made costly

Admission fees at private medical colleges in the country have gone up to Tk 8 lakh to 12 lakh, which is Tk 2-3 lakh more compared to those of the previous year.

Mushrooming on SC stay

The setting up of some more hazardous ship-breaking yards has only increased the threat to life and environment in last nine months, although the High Court ordered shutdown of the yards running without environmental clearance.

Prisoner inside CNG 3-wheelers

Abu Mohammad, 55, a businessman from Gaforgaon, arrived in Dhaka early Friday to meet his friends in Mirpur. Abu, having concluded his work in the evening, rented a CNG three-wheeler from Mirpur Mazar Road to Mohakhali bus terminal. As he boarded the CNG, its driver locked the passenger compartment and drove on. He did not know where he was heading as the driver took an unusual route and stopped in a quiet lane at Mirpur Section-11 where three people robbed him at knifepoint of his cell-phone and Tk 4,000 and pushed him out of the running vehicle near the BRTA office.

DCC not killing mosquitoes

Mosquito menace has greatly increased over the last one month in the absence of effective anti-mosquito drive by the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC), causing sufferings to residents of the capital.

BDR hearing resumes in Rangamati today

Hearing of the trial of nine suspected Bangladesh Rifles mutineers resumes today at a special court at the BDR Sector headquarters in Rangamati.

Provide jobs for challenged people

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday warned that stern action would be taken if anyone is found guilty of depriving physically and mentally challenged children of admission to mainstream schools.

Move on to bring back 100 in Indian jails

The government has taken initiative to bring back around 100 Bangladeshi nationals detained in different prisons in India on various charges.

Language hero Matin falls sick

Abdul Matin, a language movement hero, fell sick yesterday afternoon while participating in a reception for freedom fighters at Lohajuri High School in Katiadi Upazila of Kishoreganj.

BNP ready to observe Jan 11 as Black Day

Opposition BNP will observe January 11 as 'Black Day' as they lamented continuity of the Constitution and democracy were disrupted through the promulgation of the rule of emergency this day in 2007 by the then President being intimidated at gunpoint by some highly ambitious military officials.

We could have got much more

Failure of the world leaders to achieve a legally binding deal on carbon emission reduction at Copenhagen climate summit is disappointing, said Ameerah Haq of Bangladesh, the newly appointed UN Under-Secretary-General.

Ershad meets PM, praises government

Jatiya Party would be happy if it is given another ministerial appointment, JP Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said amid rumours of a cabinet reshuffle.

Court summons 10 over poll expenses

A Patuakhali court has summoned 10 candidates of the parliamentary election 2008 for not submitting their poll expenditure reports to the returning office in time.

No crossfire

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday denied the allegation of killings in crossfire and termed it a self-defence method for the law enforcers.

Cold wave continues

Although the well-off section of society eagerly waits for winter for recreation, the sweeping cold wave has hit the poor people hard, particularly the northerners.

Police arrest a bullet-hit robber

Police arrested a bullet-hit bus robber after an exchange of fire with the gang at Amin Bazar on Dhaka Aricha highway yesterday.

Passengers help foil plane attack

An attempted terrorist attack on a Christmas Day flight began with a pop and a puff of smoke sending passengers scrambling to subdue a Nigerian man who claimed to be acting on orders from al-Qaeda to blow up the airliner, officials and travellers said.

One stabbed to death

A private tutor was stabbed to death and left on the highway in the city's Khilgaon area yesterday.

Thailand to begin Hmong deportation tomorrow

Thailand will begin repatriating more than 4,000 ethnic Hmong refugees to communist Laos on Monday despite strong international opposition to the move, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said yesterday.

Editorial

Drive to free Buriganga of sludge is welcome

THE authorities will be launching a drive in the first week of January to flush out sludge from the bed of the Buriganga. For those who have in recent months been engaged in a movement to free our rivers of all impediments to navigability, it is certainly cheering news. Indeed, the very active role played in the drive for a recovery of rivers from encroachment and similar such conditions by the judiciary and the administration is praiseworthy and we believe will be crucial in restoring our rivers to the pristine nature they used to be in until about twenty or so years ago. Just how threatened these rivers have become is to be seen not only in the way grabbers have pounced on them but also by the amount of sludge -- polythene, effluents and other elements -- pushed into them by industries situated on the banks of these rivers.

An observation in bad taste

SADLY have we observed ruling party leaders of high position occasionally indulging in spewing out comments and innuendoes against their political opponents absolutely unmindful of the insidious effect these can have on the public mind. We are astounded by the horrific remarks of deputy leader of parliament and member, AL presidium Begum Sajeda Chowdhury on opposition leader and former prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia for her working beyond 9pm at her party's Gulshan office and returning home at 3am, as reported in a prominent Bangla daily. This, according to Sajeda Chowdhury, in a twisted perception, raises a question as to what she does during those hours! Such personalised finger-pointing is not only invasive of privacy but also extremely slanderous and in bad taste. A mischievous innuendo, it's absolutely detestable and repugnant to civility and normal sensibilities. This is patently beneath the dignity of her position as deputy leader of parliament and presidium member of AL as well as mindlessly uncalibrated as far as the position of the person that the vitriol was targetted at goes -- she happens to be the supreme leader of the opposition. In fact, the AL leader's resort to such imputation could only be self-demeaning.

Bridging the rural-urban education gap

OF the children who took part in the Primary School Terminal Examinations, the three topmost scorers are from the rural areas. In the Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examinations, on the other hand, the students from urban background fare better than their rural counterparts. The reasons for their better performance are obvious. The guardians and teachers of the students lay much importance on this certificate giving public examination. Which is why the exams and the top scorers get the highest publicity in the media and attention among the public.

Pakistan conundrum

ACQUISITION and use of ethical competence in national and international affairs are being insisted upon now by global actors as the definition of national sovereignty underwent sea changes in the latter part of the 20th century. It is now recognised that political actors must have ethical skill -- i.e. skill necessary to protect freedom and diversity in the modern world -- in dealing with nationals of their own countries, and be accountable to the people.

Politics of renaming

THE cabinet, at its weekly meeting on December 14, agreed in principle to change the name of the country's main airport from Zia International Airport and rename it after the great saint Hazrat Shahjalal (RA). A decision also was made to rename those institutions and installations whose names were changed following the assassination of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujior Rahman in 1975.

Sports

Mashrafe passes first test

Mashrafe Bin Mortaza gave a clear indication during a preparation game yesterday that he is all set to return to lead the Tigers in the upcoming tri-nation one-day tournament also involving India and Sri Lanka in the early next month.

Digital not at all!

With just over a month to go before the 11th South Asian Games, the Bangladesh Swimming Federation has been sweating to get the service of the 16-year-old electronic scoreboard.

Russel's escape act

Sheikh Russel survived a late scare to hand a 1-0 defeat on Rahmatganj MFS in their Bangladesh League encounter at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Masum set for selector role

Former national player Zahid Razzak Masum is all set to replace Naimur Rahman as a national selector.

BHF XI V-Day hockey champs

Bangladesh Hockey Federation XI emerged champions in the Victory Day Hockey Competition with a 4-2 win over Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan in the final at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

Near Aussie misses

Australia's century drought entered its 125th and most eventful day, but the ongoing failure to convert did not cost the hosts the early initiative on the opening day of the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground yesterday.

India aim to break jinx

It's dead-rubber time again. Since Mahendra Singh Dhoni became captain, India have won seven of the eight bilateral ODI series they have played. Keeping aside the series against England, Australia and West Indies - where last matches could not be played out - India have played four dead-rubbers and lost all four. With Dhoni coming back from his ban, India would today want to set that blip right in Delhi.

Family is Giggs' secret

Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs believes a rare family Christmas will fire him up for Sunday's trip to Hull and help bury the disappointment of last weekend's shock defeat at Fulham.

Chelsea can't win

Carlo Ancelotti has insisted he will not be hitting the January sales, but the Chelsea manager may rethink his strategy after his side were held to a 0-0 draw at Birmingham on Saturday.

Ballack fancies England

Germany captain Michael Ballack considers England ''one of the favourites'' to win next summer's World Cup. The Chelsea midfielder believes Fabio Capello could lead England to a first major title since 1966, and admits his own nation is lagging a bit behind.

Wenger still has hope

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who has been at the Gunners helm for 13 years, believes his side are in great shape for a Premier League title challenge despite a trophyless four years.

Robinho is Mancini's challenge

New Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is confident he can get mercurial Brazilian Robinho to perform more consistently.

No return date for Rio

Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has had an injection in an attempt to ease his long-standing back complaint but manager Sir Alex Ferguson says there is still "no light" at the end of the tunnel for the injured centre-back.

Pep must be given time

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola needs time to determine whether he has the ''conviction'' to keep winning before considering a contract extension, according to club president Joan Laporta.

Smith, Kallis steady SA

Graeme Smith and Jacques Kallis hit half-centuries as South Africa fought back after losing two early wickets on the first day of the second Test against England at Kingsmead on Saturday.

Faisalabad Cricket Ground!

Pakistan's plans to test Ricky Ponting's elbow with short-pitched bowling were scuppered by an MCG surface doing a fair impression, according to Mohammad Asif, of the famously lifeless tracks of Faisalabad.

V-Day tennis

Amol Roy and Ranjan Ram moved into the singles final of the Victory Day Tennis Competition defeating their respective rivals in the semifinals at National Tennis Complex yesterday.

School cricket gets underway

Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan (BKSP) made a winning start in the Standard Chartered Young Tigers National School Cricket with a convincing nine-wicket win over Dhaka Ideal School on the opening day at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Khulna make winning start

Hosts Khulna started their Women's National Cricket League campaign on a winning note as they handed a two-wicket defeat on Rajshahi on the opening day at the Khulna Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Men win in Asian chess

The Bangladesh men's chess team recorded their second victory in the Asian Team Chess Championship but the women's team went down again in the fourth round games at the Town Hall in Kolkata on Friday.

Business

Private sector weathers out shocks, so far

Unlike other countries, banks in Bangladesh have made hefty profits and exports continued to grow, while internal consumption has also been on the rise.

Proposed financial reporting council kicks up debate

A debate has surfaced over the proposed law on formation of a financial reporting council, as regulatory officials and accounting professionals view the move differently.

Fresh fund likely for BB's home scheme

Bangladesh Bank Housing Refinance Scheme, a popular housing project in the public sector, is likely to get approval for a Tk 200 crore fresh fund as its entire amount of Tk 500 crore has been used up.

Mutual fund managers to raise problems with govt

Mutual fund managers have decided to place to the government and market regulator the problems they are now facing because of a finance ministry decision on launching new funds.

Govt moves to contain rice prices

The government will shortly intervene in the market to dampen rising rice prices and make the item more affordable for the poor, said Food and Disaster Management Minister Dr Muhammad Abdur Razzaque yesterday.

Titas Gas cuts system loss

Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd reduced its system loss to 0.81 percent in fiscal 2008-09 from 3.39 percent a year ago, and made an additional profit of Tk 93.47crore, according to its annual report.

US lifts limits for financial aid to mortgage giants

The US government has pledged virtually unlimited aid to mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through 2012 to allow the government-sponsored firms to weather any new crisis.

Understaffed NBR struggling to achieve revenue target

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is trying hard to achieve the biggest-ever revenue target with its thinnest-ever manpower.

Minister says consumer rights law comes into effect soon

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said the Consumer Rights Act would come into effect very soon to provide quality goods, urging all taking a vow against marketing of adulterated goods.

Google sharpens aim on mobile marketing with AdMob

Four years ago, Omar Hamoui was just another ineffectual entrepreneur trying to spruce up his resume in graduate school.

Japan's jobless rate rises

Japan's unemployment rate rose to 5.2 percent in November from 5.1 percent in October, worsening for the first time in four months, the government said Friday.

Stimulus shields exports partly

The first phase of government stimulus has partially pulled the export sector out of recession shocks, but some other beneficiary sectors are still languishing in the red.

In good shape

The economy performed remarkably well despite the global economic crisis and macroeconomic indicators are in good shape. The real GDP is clocking 5.9 percent growth, reserves have crossed the 10 billion mark and the financial system remained sound. This relative stability helped to put Bangladesh in the limelight, Standard Chartered Bank looks back and reviews the year 2009.

Wall Street prepares to close out 2009 on upbeat note

Wall Street prepares to close out 2009 on an upbeat note with the market holding hefty gains from a stunning comeback following a disastrous start to the year.

Asian stocks miss 'Santa Claus rally'

Japanese and Chinese stocks fell back Friday in subdued trade as investors took profits, with many players in the region away for the Christmas holidays.

Toyota to boost global output by 17pc

Japan's Toyota Motor plans to boost its global production in 2010 by 17 percent to about 7.5 million units, Japanese media reported Saturday.

Australians queue for post-Christmas bargains

Thousands of Australians queued overnight to be first through the doors at annual post-Christmas sales Saturday, with retailers predicting almost 15 billion dollars (13.24 billion US) would be spent.

Japan approves record budget amid debt worries

Japan approved Friday a record trillion-dollar budget, seeking to aid an economic recovery but also fuelling concerns about its swelling national debts.

US jobless claims dip to 15-month low

New US claims for jobless benefits dropped to the lowest level since September 2008, government data showed Thursday, in a fresh sign of optimism for a weak labor market.

Weekly Currency Roundup

December 20- 24, 2009
International Markets
The dollar surged to a three-month high against a currency basket this week, buoyed by an upbeat tone from the Federal Reserve, while the euro tumbled on fresh concerns about Greece's waning fiscal health. In thin pre-holiday liquidity, the euro slid to its lowest against the dollar since early September. The dollar index, a gauge of its performance against six major currencies, rose to 78.258, its highest since early September. Concerns about fiscal troubles in peripheral euro zone countries gathered pace as Greece suffered the third downgrade of its credit rating in a week on Wednesday. The euro suffering is partly a result of problems and debt issues relating to periphery euro zone countries which could pose a significant strain for the region.

Metropolitan

Culture of parliament boycott threat to democracy

Two high-profile leaders of Awami League (AL) and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) at a BBC dialogue yesterday said article 70 of the constitution, which is known as the 'Anti-Defection Law', is imperative to “ensure discipline within the party”.

Include gender perspective in climate change policies

Speakers at a workshop yesterday called for incorporating gender perspective in climate change adaptation and mitigation policies.

Execution of verdict may take 2 more months

It would take one or two months more to execute the verdict of Bangabandhu murder case, State Minister for Law Advocate Qamrul Islam said yesterday.

Unite to save country from 'conspiracy'

BNP chairperson and leader of the opposition Khaleda Zia lat night called upon people of all faiths to stand united to save the country from conspiracies.

Police yet to rescue girl abducted 38 days ago

The police are yet to rescue a teenage girl who was abducted from a village in Sunamganj some 38 days ago.

Fair probe demanded

Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (Skop) yesterday expressed concern over the death of four workers in an oil tanker explosion at a ship-breaking yard in Sitakunda.

Call to ensure bicycle-friendly environment

Speakers at a rally yesterday called for ensuring bicycle-friendly environment in the city in order to make the city lively and liveable.

JS secretariat's clarification

The parliament secretariat in a clarification said the report on the fourth meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on Public Accounts Committee (PAC) published in the print media and aired by television channels on December 21 was not correct.

Zaker Party council today

The National Council 2009 of Zaker Party will be held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city today, says a press release.

Police raid Proshika building

The police searched the Proshika building in the city yesterday on receiving information that firearms and lethal weapons have been piled up there, but they found only pieces of bricks and sticks.

No credit facilities for polluting units

In an initiative to protect environment and combat climate change, the government has decided to restrict credit facilities for polluting industries.

'Ensure due status of FFs'

Speakers at a discussion urged the government to ensure due status of all the freedom fighters in the country.

Promote green energy: Nahid

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday called on the technological and engineering institutes to promote green energy at a time when the planet is facing severe environmental crisis.

Over one crore suffer from thalassemia

Health experts at a roundtable yesterday said more than one crore people in the country have been suffering from thalassemia and every year around 7,000 babies are born with the disease.

Commission to recruit teachers on the cards

The government will form a recruitment commission to appoint teachers at primary and secondary levels across the country after approval of proposed education policy, said Dr Alauddin Ahmed, adviser to the prime minister on education and political affairs, yesterday.

Bill to ensure rights of people with disabilities in next JS session: Minister

Labour, Employment and Expatriate Welfare Minister Engineer Khondoker Mosharraf Hossain yesterday said that the present government is committed to ensure the overall development of the downtrodden and neglected people of the society.

'Invest more in water sector'

Speakers at a dialogue emphasised more investment in water sector in the country.

EC to allow voters to change polling areas

Election Commission (EC) has decided to allow listed voters to change their polling areas at the beginning of the new year.

36 driving licences suspended, 5 held

The traffic department of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) yesterday suspended 36 driving licences for three months, fined vehicles Tk 48,500 and arrested five drivers on charge of violating traffic rules.

National

100 brick kilns in CHT harming agri lands, denuding forests

Around 100 brick kilns in Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati hill districts use 5.40 lakh tonnes of loamy soil every year, much to the harm of agricultural lands in addition to causing damage to hills, forest resources and environment.

7 UPDF men abducted in Rangamati

Seven activists of United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) were abducted in Rangamati on Friday while the anti-peace accord organisation placed 4-point demand at a function in Khagrachhari yesterday.

C'nawabganj,Chuadanga demand gas connection

A citizens' committee in Chapainawabganj has demanded installation of pipeline to supply gas to the district while a citizens' forum in Chuadanga pressed its demand for bringing the district under gas pipeline installation project (Kushtia to Khulna) that approved recently by the Ecnec.

Rangamati wears festive look for Raj Punyah

Rangamati hill town assumes a festive look as preparations are on to celebrate the three-day-long traditional 'Raj Punyah' festival that will begin at the compound of Chakma Rajbari (palace) today.

Two more lawyers fired for moving cases for militants

Two more government lawyers in Tangail were dismissed from their services on charges of conducting cases for the militants.

7 hurt as BCL factions clash at Feni College

Seven people were injured as two rival factions of Chhatra League (BCL) clashed at Feni Government College while a section of BCL leaders at BAU demanded a fresh committee of the student body yesterday.

Russia snips rates to new historic low

The Russian Central Bank on Friday announced a cut in its main interest rates to a new historic low of 8.75 percent as the bank seeks to stimulate a fragile economic recovery.

Human chain in Khulna to realise 10-pt demand

More than 10,000 people formed a human chain in the city yesterday for realising the 10-point demand of the city dwellers.

Cuta election on Dec 31

The elections to the Chittagong University Teachers' Association (Cuta) will be held on December 31. Pro-BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami teachers under 'white panel' and ruling party backed teachers under 'yellow panel' are contesting the election.

Notebooks seized in Khulna, sellers fined

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday seized guide and notebooks worth Tk 15 lakh in the city.

Jubo League man held on charge of hotel looting

A local Jubo League leader was arrested on Friday on charge of looting money and a mobile phone set from a hotel after assaulting a hotel employee in Dhunat poura area.

Arrestee flees custody

A young man, arrested in a case filed under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act, fled Savar model police station custody Thursday night. The accused was identified as Roni, 28, son of Korban Ali of Ghoshpara in Dhamrai. Police said Roni developed an affair with Riya, 14, a student of class X of local Public Administration Training Centre and married her without the consent of her parents. After the incident, Riya's father filed a case under Women and Children Repression Prevention Act with the police station. Police detained Roni along with Riya Thursday and took him to the police station. But he ran away from the thana custody around midnight. Sub-Inspector Rezaul Karim chased the fleeing accused but stumbled down on the ground a few yards away. He was admitted to Dhaka Orthopedic Hospital with broken arm.

Double shift at zila school

Double shift was introduced at Thakurgaon Zila School yesterday. Water minister Ramesh Chandra Sen inaugurated the of double shift at a colourful programme attended by deputy commissioner (DC) and president of managing committee of Thakurgaon Zila School Munshi Shahabuddin Ahmed. Headmaster of the school Akhteruzzaman Shabu said, introduction of double shift education at the school has fulfilled long-cherished demand of the locality. Now many students of the district will have opportunity to learn in a good atmosphere, he said. The minister asked all to take care of the students properly to uphold the nation. He also emphasised on technical education, saying that technical education opens up wide opportunity to work abroad.

Two held on rape charge

Police arrested two people on charge of violating a girl at Sonapur Naupara village in Sadar upazila on Wednesday. Police said Dulal, 32, son of Fikir Ali and Abbas, 48, son of Mohammad Ali entered the house of neighbour Zamir Pagla in his absence on the night of December 16. They later forcibly took his young daughter to a nearby jungle and violated her after tying up her hands, legs and mouth. Victim's father informed the matter to Sadar police on the same night and the police station directed the nearby Alampur police camp to investigate the incident. Locals said, police of the camp and the village elders in an arbitration on December 17 fined the culprits Tk 5 lakh for violating the girl. But later the village elders allegedly gave only Tk 40,000 to the victim's father. Police Superintendent Shahabuddin Khan was informed about the rape incident and as per his directive police arrested the two alleged culprits. Meanwhile, the victim filed a case against the two alleged rapists and 12 village elders.

Letters

Environment issues

The water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat affect our bodies every day. Therefore it is important that these most essential environmental influences do not contain hazardous quantities of substances that may increase the risk of health problems.

Ship breaking

The ship breaking industry has grown big at Sitakundu coast of Sandwip Channel. I am connected with the Seafarers' Union of Bangladesh affiliated with the ITF, (London) wherefrom I do occasionally get booklets and various publicity materials where Sitakundu yard is treated as one of the big ones but shamefully it is declared as the worst and most dangerous one. The Shipping & Labour Welfare ministries have been neglecting the issue. Some action was taken by the I.L.O. in the past but that has been stopped for reasons not known to us.

Birth of Jesus Christ

In the sixth month, God sent angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin, the virgin's name was Mary. The angel appeared to her and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favoured! The Lord is with you." Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favour with God. You will be with a child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end." How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?" The angel answered, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born and will be called the Son of God. "I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said?" Then the angel left her. Mary said: "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.

Women`s fair

Women are going ahead with the advance of civilization and the old notion about womenfolk is now fizzling out. In the bygone days, women were considered to do the household works and men used to do all the work outside their homes. But now things are changing, and with the blessing of education people come to realize that a nation cannot go forward keeping half the population backward. Now womenfolk are doing all types of works along with men.

Ranking of universities

I am writing about the grading system of universities. The real point is that the students of the universities (public and private) are always enthusiastic to know about the present grade of the institutions in which they are studying. Others also want to confirm the institutions in which they seek to get admitted. The UGC published a ranking of the private varsities in 2005. But now 2009 is going to end. There are some organisations which are publishing their rankings. But the credibility of these organisations is questionable.

Facts andpropaganda!

While the Hon. Shipping Minister, recognising forest plundering as a fact, warns against this criminal activity through harsh punishment, in stark contrast the local MP calls it a "figment of the imagination"! Who is right and who is wrong, given your correspondent's news report of 20 December and the vivid photograph published alongside, is anybody's guess!

Stop child marriage

The practice of girls marrying at a young age is very common in Bangladesh. Child marriage can have serious harmful consequences for children. Parents choose to marry off their daughters early for a number of reasons. Poor families may regard a young girl as an economic burden and her marriage as a necessary survival strategy for her family. In addition, Child marriages must be viewed within the context of force and coercion, involving pressure and emotional blackmail, and children that lack the choice or capacity to give their full consent.

Internet

Internet is the means of communication through computers. It is the largest system of many connected computers around the world. People use Internet to communicate with each other. Besides, modern business and commerce etc are done though it.

Name game

There are some unhealthy competitions practiced among our political parties. The shameless name game is one of those. We saw this culture during the regime of different political parties. This government came to power with the 'slogan' of change. But we do not get any indication of change of their narrow mind. The AL-led grand alliance is also not an exception in case of coming out from this 'Name Game Culture'. Most probably, this culture is in our blood.

Sri Lankan women

Recent news regarding exploitation of women in Sri Lankan camps is worrisome. It is regrettably the fallout of the war and the creation of a stream of refugees. The refugees, who are helpless due to lack of basic amenities and support become easy prey to such kinds of exploitation. In such a situation it is the responsibility of the world bodies involved in safeguarding the conditions of the refugees to address the issue.

Teachers

More than 50 private universities have been established in our country and some universities have area branches in Rajshahi, Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna and all over the country. It is regrettable that most of the private universities appoint their teachers from public universities. I'm a student of a public university. Most of the teachers, not only of our department but also other departments, are working with private universities. Some teachers do not take classes regularly.

Comments

On 14.12.09, I read in your daily a column on Open and Distance Learning written by Dr Manzurul Islam. That was good writing. I also think that this method of learning should be accepted by the govt and people. I have visited several websites of universities teaching with this method. I think this service responsibility should be distributed to the private organisations. One more public Open University and at least one private Open University should be allowed to introduce this system as early as possible.

Killers of Bangabandhu

I don't support only five killers of Bangabandhu to be executed. Recently the jury gave a verdict in favour of the execution of 12 killers of Bangabandhu but only five out of twelve are in custody now.

Christmas

Christmas is celebrated on December 25 with full enthusiasm by the people around the whole world. Basically, Christmas or Christmas Day is a yearly Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. On top of that, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas" is a sixteenth-century English carol from the West Country of England . The derivation of this Christmas carol lies in the English ritual where well-to-do people of the society provided Christmas treats to the carollers on Christmas eve for instance 'figgy puddings' that were incredibly like current day Christmas puddings. It is one of the few conventional holiday carols. The song is frequently parodied.

How is that?

Two news items published in the daily Prothom Alo dated 14-12-09 have drawn my attention. One news item is that the shipping minister, one MP of Chittagong and chairman of Chittagong port authority have gone to India for a visit in connection with discussion/ negotiation with a private agency of India for establishment of specialized hospital in joint venture with Chittagong port authority in Chittagong port area. The expenditure of the visit will be met from training budget of the port authority for which an amount of taka nine lakh has been withdrawn. For this expenditure the shipping ministry has given approval . In this connection, earlier an eleven- member team of the shipping ministry visited India and discussed the matter with Mr. Devi Sheti, a renowned cardiologist and in exchange only a two-member team from India made a visit to Bangladesh.

One-child family

To reduce the rapid growth of the population, the media reports indicate that officially one-child family would be encouraged.

English grammar

There are five vowels a, e, i, o, u in English language. It is said that no word is complete and meaningful without affixing any one of the five vowels such as cat, met, inn, run, black, elder, injure, open, urge etc., etc.

Capital market and small investors

The size of capital market is growing big. The investors are reposing trust in investing in the capital market. More enlistment of public limited companies will help expand the size. But the small investors are still feeling uneasy to invest in the market. Hundreds of broker houses are coming forward. Many of the broker houses do not offer all the services. The small buyers of shares feel insecure to keep their shares in BO account. Because some of the new broker houses have already closed their business without settling everything.

Fake freedom fighter?

Freedom fighters are the noble sons of the soil. They are ever remembered with dignity and honour. But the fake freedom fighters are always looked upon with great hatred and anguish. Loathes are spitted on them. Many fake freedom fighters are moving freely in society enjoying all the facilities from the govt.

International

American 'Jihad seekers' were planning to attack Pak nuke plant

The five US origin terror suspects, who were arrested from Sargodha earlier this month, were planning to attack the Chasma Nuclear Power Plant and other strategic establishments in the country, a private television channel has reported.

Israel kills 6 Palestinians in West Bank, Gaza raids

Israeli troops killed six Palestinians yesterday in two separate operations, including a raid in the West Bank targeting members of President Mahmud Abbas's Fatah movement.

Air security in spotlight after failed Detroit attack

A botched terrorist attack on a US plane by a Nigerian just as it was due to land in Detroit puts the spotlight on the efficacy of prevailing airport and on-board security measures.

Pak Taliban ready to accept Imran as mediator

The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan's (TTP) Swat chapter has said that it is ready to accept the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan as a mediator for talks with the government in order to restore peace in the region.

Bomb in Iraqi pilgrims' tent kills 3

A roadside bomb killed three Shia pilgrims in eastern Baghdad yesterday, the latest round of violence to strike worshippers during a revered mourning observance.

Andhra Governor ND Tiwari quits over 'sex scandal'

Andhra Pradesh Governor ND Tiwari resigned Saturday citing 'health grounds' after allegations of his involvement in a sex scandal.

US to suspend Pak aid if misused

A US State Department report has warned that the financial assistance to Pakistan would be suspended if the funds are misused or misdirected.

Iranian forces clash with demonstrators

A reformist Website in Iran says clashes have erupted between security forces and opposition supporters in central Tehran.

45 presumed dead in Indian bridge collapse

The number of people presumed killed when a bridge collapsed in western India rose to at least 45 on Saturday, an official said, as rescue divers struggled to recover bodies pinned under water.

Scientists figure out how brain encodes memories

Scientists have figured out how brain encodes memories and this could help develop new drugs for brain disorders.

Neda named Times Person of the Year

Neda Soltan, a student protester, who was shot dead by Iranian militia while demonstrating against the rigged presidential elections, has been chosen as the Times Person of the Year.

6 bombs found in Uttar Pradesh

Six live bombs were recovered from a residential area in Uttar Pradesh's Lakhimpur district Saturday. Police have ruled out the involvement of any terror outfit in the incident.

Asia remembers day ocean unleashed its fury

People across Asia paused yesterday to remember the day five years ago when an undersea earthquake unleashed a devastating wave that killed more than 220,000 people.

Shibu Soren stakes claim to form Jharkhand govt

Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Shibu Soren yesterday staked claim to form the government in Jharkhand, with support from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).

Pak intelligence agencies warn of terror strikes

Pakistani intelligence agencies have warned of a possible terror strike on the occasion of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto's death anniversary today.

Zardari moves to boost his sagging public image

In an effort to build up a national consensus against demands of his resignation and restore his image, which has been shattered by the reopening of corruption cases, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has decided to go for direct public contact.

Protests, blockades go on in Telangana

Rallies, hunger strikes and demonstrations continued for the fourth consecutive day Saturday in Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region, where the demand for a separate state keeps gaining momentum.

Musharraf will return when time is right

Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, currently on a lecture tour of Europe, has said he will return home when the time is right.

Nepal seeks strong ties with China

With bilateral trade topping $304 million in the first 10 months of this year, the visiting Nepali prime minister will push for stronger economic cooperation with China when he meets his Chinese counterpart in Beijing.

Anti-Taliban Pak leader beheaded

Militants assassinated an anti-Taliban tribal elder and dumped his beheaded body by the roadside in Pakistan's northwest tribal belt, officials said Saturday.

Arts & Entertainment

Music . . . when less can be more

If less can be more, few people can make more out of less than the incredible Swarup Hossain, playing the tabla at this past weekend's Classical Music Festival at Chhayanaut in Dhanmondi. Think what a tabla is: nothing more physically than skin stretched over a sounding box. But just as brilliant actors wearing masks can amplify emotions with their facial expressions concealed, musicians like Swarup can turn the seeming limitations of a drum into not only a whole orchestra, but also a troupe of actors playing out all manner of dramas.

Playing to the gallery

On December 24, Rock Revolution, featuring the performances of 10 bands, was held at the BUET Auditorium.

Architect Mazharul Islam turns eighty-six

Architect Mazharul Islam, the pioneer of modern architecture in Bangladesh has turned 86. On the occasion, family members, friends and well-wishers of the master architect arranged a reception at Bengal Shilpalaya on December 25. Matiur Rahman, editor and publisher, daily “Prothom Alo” anchored the event.

Of melody and romance

On December 24, Ayub Bachchu's latest solo album “Bolini Kokhono” was released at a city restaurant. The album has been sponsored by Nuvista Pharama Ltd and presented by Marvelon. The album has been produced by AB kitchen, Ayub Bachchu's music studio.

Tagore with a blend of Italy

“A love story between voice and piano,” is how Maestro Ugo Bonessi describes their music.. And what if it is matched up with the Indian genre of Rabindra Sangeet? You have a delightful evening with two Italian musiciansBonessi (piano) and Francesca Cassio (vocal). While some grumbled away at the “hybrid” music, even diehard music critics applauded loudly as the duo performed Tagore's songs of “Love and Destiny” in English.

Ranjan Majumdar: Success story of a musical instrument maker

Sincerity and hard work led to his success. At a young age he has reached his goal and has drawn the attention of consumers in greater Jessore, Dhaka, and Chittagong districts as well as other parts of Bangladesh. Many reputed music institutions collect musical instrument from Ranjan Melody & Company.

Recitation and play on Liberation War staged in Thakurgaon

A play on the Liberation War titled “Ekatture Amra” was staged at Thakurgaon District Shilpakala Academy Auditorium on December 15.

Meena fair ends in Khagrachhari

The two-day Meena fair organised by the District Primary Education Office ended with a prize giving ceremony at the Town Hall auditorium in Khagrachhari.

OP-ED

Lingering angst at year end

TWO years ago I thought the year that had just ended was an extraordinary year and said so on these pages. I still think 2007 was out of the ordinary. With devastating floods, a cyclone that mangled the south of the country, and a military-backed caretaker government, the year will remain in public memory for some time. The cat cartoon controversy of the year was something I shall not soon forget.

Agriculture: Kudos to a passionate driver

SHE is known as “Daughter of Fire” and she has been able to instill the fire in the minds millions of people in Bangladesh in 2009. Forty eight percent of the country's labour force is engaged in the agriculture sector. Mrs. Matia Chowdhury, after taking over as minister of agriculture, has demonstrated strong commitment to provide a better life to these people by initiating policy reforms, providing easy access to agriculture inputs, lowering cost of production, focusing on higher production of food grains, and issuance of identity cards to 18.2 million farmers to reach subsidy to the target segment. For the first time, we can see the development roadmap clearly.

Remittance: Behind shiny statistics

AIR Arabia is a low-cost carrier eating into Emirates and Etihad's dominance of the high-volume Bangladesh-Middle East route. On a recent Arabia flight, we noticed something odd: instead of struggling to carry heavy bags filled with gifts, many passengers were empty-handed and wearing sandals.


The Daily Star

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