The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, August 30, 2014


News of: Sunday, 3rd of January, 2010

Front Page

Textbooks reach most students

Most students of primary and secondary schools across the country started their first day of school in the academic year with the free government-distributed textbooks in their hands.

Build capacity for climate challenge

Bangladesh has to achieve the ability to absorb the inflow of climate change funds to implement projects for adapting to and mitigating adverse effects of climate change with transparency and accountability, speakers said yesterday at a roundtable.

Ship-breaking policy soon: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government is going to formulate a policy soon for ship-breaking industry to save environment and lives of workers.

Contempt charge against govt

A contempt of court notice was served on the government yesterday for not constituting a national river protection commission according to the High Court verdict in order to protect and preserve the country's rivers.

JS body caught in dilemma

The parliamentary standing committee on law, justice and parliamentary affairs might shelve its plan to look into the process of granting presidential mercy to a BNP leader convicted in a double murder case to avoid discussion on another clemency by the present government.

Nahid keeps his promise

The education minister was jubilant yesterday while on his promise to provide millions of school-goers with new textbooks from the first day of the new academic year.

Muggers taught a lesson in bravery

A brave college girl Friday caught a mugger and gave him a bloody nose three days after he mugged her on her way home in Khulna.

Banks to offer Biman $114m

A syndicate of nine local banks has finalised a proposal to give Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd a loan of $114.75 million for procuring two aircraft from Boeing.

Police want 3-star rank badge back

Twenty-seven years ago, the then military government of the country degraded the police force by ranking down its chief from three-star general to two-star, which is long forgotten by the people.

Cops now to sue traffic offenders

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police authorities have empowered all their officers-in-charge and sub-inspectors of 42 police stations to file cases against traffic rule violators under the motor vehicle act.

Aila victims brace for more miseries

A new disaster might befall the Aila hit area in the coastal belt if breaches in the embankments at six major points in Satkhira and Khulna are not repaired immediately, warned the Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) yesterday.

Mutiny probe requires more time

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said the investigation into the killings on February 25 and 26 last year at the BDR headquarters will take more time but she did not specify any deadline.

Teesta treaty still not certain

As India and Bangladesh begin secretary-level talks on Monday in Dhaka to discuss the modality of water sharing of the common rivers, an agreement on sharing Teesta river water during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit here next week seems a remote possibility.

Correction

In the headline of a news item on UK donation to Bangladesh's multi-donor trust fund for climate change, published on the front page of the January 01, 2010 issue of The Daily Star, the donation amount was mistakenly mentioned as "6m pounds". The headline should read "UK to donate 60m pounds to climate fund".

Editorial

Begum Zia must not prejudge Delhi outcome

WE are distressed by the tone and tenor of Begum Khaleda Zia's remarks at Paltan Maidan on Friday. The BNP leader has in effect held out a good number of threats and warnings at the government with regard to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's forthcoming official visit to India. The leader of the opposition has made it clear that if, in her opinion, the prime minister concludes an honourable deal in Delhi, she will be welcomed home with garlands; but if, again in her words, she fails to preserve the national interest, her path once she returns home will be strewn with thorns. Such remarks are plainly and disturbingly abrasive and certainly do little to help either the opposition or those it presumes to speak for.

Highway journey extremely hazardous

THE frequency at which highway accidents are taking place in the country has reached an ominous proportion. But the glaring fact remains that there is no authority around to monitor and regulate the speed, fitness as well as overloading of buses and trucks to bring the rate of such accidents down. As a result, bus and private car passengers are paying with their lives for such apathy, for such lack of concern, on the part of the administration, which is extremely lamentable, to say the least. As recent as last Friday, a speeding passenger bus crashed into a roadside tree when it lost control while giving way to a truck coming from the opposite direction on the Dhaka-Khulna highway. The accident left 17 dead and many more injured. It is only likely that if the drivers of both the vehicles had any respect for human lives and fear for the law of the land, they would have been more careful while driving heavy vehicles on highways.

Things of concern for a freedom fighter

THE subject matter of the present write-up is an article, the title of which may be rendered in English as "Definition of Freedom Fighters and their number" by Abid Anwar. The article was published on the Oped page of the Bengali daily Prothom Alo in its December 31, 2009 issue.

We should not miss the train

ONE wonders why the Taliban are committing suicide in the name of the Muslims by destroying educational institutions in the lawless region of Pakistan. The signal given to the global community by such wanton acts of terrorism is that Islam has compressed in its the Holy Book the ultimate knowledge necessary for mankind and no further knowledge is required, an impression that contradicts one of the fundamental teachings of Islam -- instructing Muslims to go to China (a far away place in the seventh century), if necessary, to seek knowledge.

Ushering in the new year

THE year 2009 has passed away in the eternal flow of time with all its glories and ignominies. Although all the years are equal in the scale of time, some years are more memorable than others, either for heights of achievements or for depth of miseries. The year 2009 will be remembered in Bangladesh as the year of hope and introspection.

Sports

Sehwag issues a warning

A buoyant India cricket team arrived in Dhaka yesterday with a promise to start their campaign in the New Year with same sort of form they have been maintaining over the last two years.

Nazmul out, Shahadat in

Bangladesh made one change to the 15-member squad for the tri-nation tournament also involving India and Sri Lanka as pace bowler Nazmul Hossain has been ruled out due to muscle injury.

Pakistan's Aamer blow

Pakistan's New Year has begun with a setback. Mohammad Aamer, who bagged a five-for at the MCG and was, by far, his team's best bowler, has been ruled out of the SCG Test that starts today due to a groin injury.

Transcom strengthens ties

Transcom Beverage has strengthened its bond with country's cricket when the franchise of world famous soft drink Pepsi became the official beverage partner of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for the next two years.

Idea are title sponsors

Idea, an Indian mobile company, has won the bragging rights as the title sponsor of both the tri-nation one-day tournament and the two-Test series between Bangladesh and India.

Yousuf not in favour of a fielding coach

Mohammad Yousuf believes hiring a specialist fielding coach for Pakistan will not make much of a difference to the side's continued problems in the area. Pakistan dropped five catches in all in their 170-run loss to Australia at the MCG.

Tickets at GP outlets

Tickets for the Idea Cup tri-nation tournament involving India, Sri Lanka and hosts Bangladesh will be available at all Grameenphone outlets.

DRS won't be in place for India Tests

The International Cricket Council (ICC) may be upbeat about the effectiveness of the Decision Referral System (DRS) but apparently has not been able to convince the boards to accept it of late.

Carlo shrugs off ANC

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti shrugged off losing Didier Drogba, John Mikel Obi, Michael Essien and Salomon Kalou to the African Nations Cup, claiming the tournament may have come at the right time.

Aguero staying put

Argentina striker Sergio Aguero has insisted there is no chance of him moving to Chelsea this month.

Eng can win it now

Newlands, and the dramatic backdrop of Table Mountain, is the setting for the third Test match starting today with plenty at stake. South Africa must defeat England to draw level, while the visitors are one win away from a memorable series victory.

Totti signals WC interest

Italian veteran Francesco Totti has declared himself ready to play for his country in the World Cup if coach Marcello Lippi asks him to do so.

Colly could play

England batsman Paul Collingwood looks set to start the third Test against South Africa at Newlands on Sunday, according to captain Andrew Strauss.

Wenger's no to Chamakh

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger on Friday ruled out a transfer window swoop for Moroccan international striker Marouane Chamakh, a long-time Gunners target.

Khulna women are champs

Khulna Division emerged champions in the third Women's National Cricket League with an emphatic 58-run win over Dhaka Division at Khulna Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Mancini salutes Tevez

Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini hailed Carlos Tevez's goal-scoring record on Saturday as the Argentine striker eyed an emotional cup clash with former club Manchester United.

Ntini decision tough

South Africa captain Graeme Smith acknowledged on Saturday that a decision on whether to drop veteran fast bowler Makhaya Ntini for Sunday's third Test against England at Newlands went beyond purely cricketing issues.

Breno, Ottl out on loan

Bundesliga strugglers Nuremberg have taken Brazilian defender Breno and midfielder Andreas Ottl on loan from Bayern Munich until the end of the season.

'Cech is one of the best'

Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, in the firing line for some recent error-prone showings, Friday received a vote of confidence from coach Carlo Ancelotti, who described him as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Everton suspend Jo

English Premier League club Everton said Friday they have suspended Brazilian striker Jo for a breach of club discipline after he made a trip back to his homeland without permission.

Feni's 2nd win

A brace from substitute Ashraful Quader Manju gave newcomers Feni Soccer Club their second triumph in the Citycell Bangladesh League with a 2-1 win over struggling Muktijoddha Sangsad at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Gautam does envy Veeru

Opening the innings with Virender Sehwag has its own peril since the right-hander makes batting look ridiculously easy but Gautam Gambhir believes he still manages to hold his own because he doesn't try to match his partner shot by shot.

DC Gold Cup

Jessore won the opening match of Khulna DC Gold Cup football tournament with a 4-1 tie-break success against host Satkhira much to the disappointment of a modest home crowd at the Satkhira Stadium on Saturday.

Business

Green tech takes a leap

The use of green technology showed a significant rise last year, covering some new areas from rural farming to city restaurants, corporate houses and government offices.

Banks step into Basel II

Bangladesh entered the Basel II regime, the latest version of risk-based capital standards set for banks worldwide, on the first day of 2010.

Industrial policy sees major changes

The new industrial policy with a major shift in divestment strategy will be placed in today's meeting of the cabinet committee on economic affairs for its perusal.

Hopes for growing boro rice on more brackish land

Hopes for growing boro rice on more brackish land in coastal areas in the south have surfaced, as the Bangladesh Institute of Nuclear Agriculture (Bina) has recently developed two rice seeds that have strengths to resist higher level of salinity.

Housing fair targets better sales

The country's biggest real estate and housing fair begins on Tuesday in Dhaka on target for crossing the Tk 1,000 crore mark in orders.

China expected to grow 9.5pc in 2010

China is expected to grow by about 9.5 percent in 2010, state media quoted a government think tank as saying Friday, exceeding forecasts made by outside experts for the new year.

Trade fair fears slack sales

Participating companies at the 15th Dhaka International Trade Fair 2010 fear slack sales this year due to high prices of products on the back of hikes in the prices of raw materials.

BB governor backs easy loan for hill districts

Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman yesterday asked banks to go to borrowers' doorsteps and give loans on easy terms to build the agro-based industry.

Singer Plus launches New Year sales campaign

Singer Plus has launched New Year Festival, a special sales campaign, for 2010, the company said in a statement yesterday.

US stirs trade tensions with China over steel

The United States has ratcheted up trade tensions with China following a "final" decision Wednesday to slap punitive duties on imported Chinese steel pipes targeted for unfair subsidies.

Spain takes reins of revamped EU

Spain on Friday assumed the rotating presidency of the European Union, the first under a new leadership structure for the bloc which includes its first full-time president and a new foreign policy supremo.

IDLC Finance gets new MD

Selim RF Hussain, a former chief financial officer of Standard Chartered Bank Bangladesh, has joined IDLC Finance Ltd as managing director and chief executive officer, the company said in a statement yesterday.

New chief for BJMA

Bangladesh Jute Mills Association has re-elected Najmul Huq as chairman and elected Syed ABM Humayun as vice chairman for the term 2010-11, says a statement released yesterday.

Paradigm shift in agriculture

What happened to your agriculture newsletter? A call from Zahid Hossain, an old friend who is a senior economist at the World Bank asked for a monthly newsletter we used to produce and distribute to policy makers.

World stocks head for uncertain 2010

After a dismal 2008, world stockmarkets recorded a spectacular rebound in 2009 even though the economy was in crisis, but confidence had not been completely restored and there were fears for 2010.

GM India chief says China partnership start of Asia thrust

For GM India chief Karl Slym, the expansion of the US auto giant's 12-year alliance with its Chinese partner SAIC Motor to tap India's burgeoning vehicle market is win-win for both sides.

Cautious hope for Pakistan markets in 2010

Pakistan share prices gained more than 60 percent in 2009 after an abysmal 2008 which saw the once-promising market battered by political turmoil, militancy and the global recession.

Dubai to open world's tallest building

Once-bustling Dubai will open the world's tallest skyscraper on Monday, boasting new limits in design and construction, hopeful of polishing an image tarnished by the debt woes afflicting the Gulf emirate.

Fox, Time Warner Cable announce broadcast deal

Football fans and "American Idol" devotees can breathe a sigh of relief. Fox and Time Warner Cable have reached a deal in principle that will keep the network on the cable provider after Fox threatened to pull the plug over a fee dispute.

Vietnam orders gold-trading floors shut by end-March

Vietnam, where many people see gold as a safe haven against economic uncertainty, has ordered public gold-trading floors shut by March 31 because they rest on a "fragile foundation".

More than 600,000 Chinese visited Taiwan in 2009

More than 600,000 Chinese tourists visited Taiwan in 2009, state-run media reported Saturday, amid warming relations between the two sides.

Metropolitan

No rule of law during military-backed CG

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said there was no rule of law and independence of the judiciary during the regime of the military-backed caretaker government as the joint forces had indirectly interfered in the judicial functions.

Step up monitoring for proper implementation

Panellists at a BBC dialogue yesterday called on the government to strengthen the monitoring system for proper implementation of social development programmes.

5 killed in road crashes

Five people, including two Ansar men, were killed and 13 others injured in separate road accidents in Faridpur and Kurigram yesterday.

Students vandalise principal's room for withholding results

Students of Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute vandalised the principal's room yesterday protesting the authorities' decision to withhold results of some 60 students for their failure in practical examinations.

Shibir men confine RU proctor

Islami Chhatra Shibir of Rajshahi University (RU) unit yesterday kept the proctor and his deputy confined for half an hour as they were trying to halt a showdown by Shibir men on the campus.

4 JCD leaders hurt in clashes over new committee

Four Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leaders were injured in two separate factional clashes on Dhaka University (DU) yesterday centering dispute over the new JCD central committee.

Controversial forest officer transferred from Kelenga

A controversial beat officer of Kelenga forest office in Srimangal has been transferred from Kelenga, forest department sources said.

Institute for free driving training for unemployed youths launched

An institute to provide free driving training to the SSC-passed unemployed youths to become skilled manpower was jointly launched by Nirapod Sarak Chai (NISCHA) and National Trading Company (NTC).

BCL factions clash at DU

At least four handmade bombs exploded and several rounds of bullets were fired inside Sergeant Zahurul Haq Hall compound at Dhaka University on Friday night during an intra-party clash between two factions of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

Free playground from grabbers

Speakers at a programme yesterday sought the prime minister's intervention in recovering Lalmath playground from the land grabbers immediately.

Two siblings killed in wall collapse

Two siblings died yesterday afternoon in Khulna when a wall around the roof of a two-storey building collapsed.

SC hearing on appeals against HC verdict likely today

The Supreme Court is likely to hear today the appeals against the High Court (HC) verdict that declared illegal the fifth amendment to the constitution.

Bangabandhu murder convict Shahriar falls ill

Bangabandhu murder convict Lt Col (retd) Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, now detained in a condemned cell of Dhaka Central Jail, fell ill yesterday.

Ex-army captain commits suicide

A former army captain committed suicide by hanging from the ceiling fan with a scarf at his residence at Green Road in the city yesterday.

Two shot, robbed of cellphone

A gang of hooligans shot two people in the garage of a six-storied building while trying to snatch cellphone sets from them at Mohammadia Housing Society in city's Mohammadpur area yesterday.

Pak militants blow up 2 more schools

Militants blew up two boys' schools and a basic health unit in the lawless tribal region on Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, but there were no reports of casualties, officials said Saturday.

RMG worker injured in rooftop fall

A female garments worker sustained critical injuries yesterday after falling from the rooftop of her workplace at Hazipara in the city's Rampura area.

5 Rohingyas rounded up

BDR members held five Rohingyas including a member of Myanmar army from Jadimura of Hnila union under Teknaf upazila, Cox's Bazar, yesterday.

AL leader succumbs to injury

A local AL leader in the capital succumbed to his injuries yesterday after allegedly being beaten by a group of BNP activists following a long continuing feud between the political party leaders to gain the upper hand in extorting people.

National

'Military chief' of Gono Mukti Fouz arrested

Police arrested the 'military commander' of outlawed Gono Mukti Fouz (GMF), Jahangir Alam alias Arfen alias Doyal, on Friday night.

Truckers stop work at Teknaf land port

Loading and unloading of goods at Teknaf land port in Cox's Bazar have remained suspended for the last two days due to a strike by truck workers.

Townsfolk paralyse Natore for 15 minutes for gas link

All activities in Natore town came to a halt for 15 minutes yesterday as townsfolk participated in road blockade and human chain programmes demanding supply of gas to the district town through pipeline.

Where has Shibu gone with the money?

Shibu Pal, 60, a businessman at Uparer Bazar under Teknaf municipality, allegedly fled to India with about Tk I crore he borrowed from local people and businessmen of Khatunganj in Chittagong city.

'Mysterious disease'claims three children

Three children died while seven others were afflicted with a 'mysterious disease' in Jointapur upazila on Wednesday and Thursday.

Migratory birds still unsafe in remote areas

Water bodies in Tangail are buzzing with chirping and fluttering of thousands of migratory birds that have flown in from extremely cold northern lands.

70 hurt as AL factions clash in Jhenidah, N'ganj

At least 70 people were injured as rival factions of the ruling Awami League (AL) clashed in Narayanganj and Jhenidah yesterday and the day before.

JCD rallies, Jamaat office attacked in Bagerhat

At least 25 people were injured in attacks on the rallies of Chhatra Dal (JCD) and Jamaat office in Kachua and Morelganj upazilas Friday.

'Jatka' catching on defying 7-month ban

Jatka (hilsa fry) catching goes on in different rivers of Barisal and Barguna despite raids by the law enforcers.

Bangladeshi shot dead by BSF

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) gunned down a Bangladeshi cattle trader along Burimari border in Patgram upazila early yesterday.

BCL men sued on charge of attacking police

Police sued 15 leaders and activists including president of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Meherpur district unit on Friday on charge of attacking on-duty police.

Schoolgirl abducted

A case was filed on Friday in connection with the abduction of schoolgirl Mukti in Sadar upazila. Victim's mother Sultana Akhter filed the case with Sadar police station. Family sources said, a resident of T&T Road area in the district town, abducted the class IX student, on December 29 while she was going to her private tutor in the evening. Police could not rescue the victim or arrest the kidnapper. They, however, detained one Sultan Hawlader for interrogation in this connection.

Body recovered

Police recovered body of a young girl from a residential hotel at Amtali under Barguna district yesterday. Police and hotel manager Mainul Islam said, Kamal Hossain, 28, and Aysha Begum, 24, came to Delux Hotel and identified themselves as husband and wife. Manager informed police after the hotel boys noticed that nobody was calling them since morning. Earlier, the man left the hotel on Friday evening and did not return at night. According to the hotel record, the couple hailed from Polash village under Ghorasal upazila of Narsingdi district. An UD case was filed with Amtali police station in this regard.

Trader mugged

Muggers looted Tk 50, 000 from a small vegetable trader in Jibonnagar upazila in Chuadanga on Friday night. Victim Monwar Hossain Bhutto, 35, is son of Delwar Hossain of Hospital Para. According to police, Monwar went to Jessore on Thursday to buy vegetables. But he did not buy anything as the prices were high. He boarded a Chuadanga bound passenger bus to return home. When Monwar reached Kaliganj area of Jibonnagar, the muggers attacked him and snatched the amount. A case was filed with Jibonnagar police station.

15 hurt as villagers clash

At least 15 people were injured in a fierce clash between two groups of villagers at Charbagdanga bazaar in Sadar upazila on Thursday evening. Police said, there had been a longstanding dispute between local Awami League leader Omar Ali and Charbagdanga Union Parishad member Tipu over a number of issues in the area. As a sequel to the conflict, their supporters locked in an altercation in the evening. Later, the feuding groups equipped with lethal weapons and sticks attacked each other. Three of the injured were admitted to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital and Sadar hospital.

Heroin worth Tk 5cr seized

BDR personnel seized 5.1 kgs of heroin worth Tk 5 crore at Gatipara village under Benapole Police Station on Wednesday. A team of Bangladesh border guards laid an ambush at the village on secret information that drug smugglers--Liton and Monirul--were entering the village from India along with heroin. Sensing presence of the BDR men, the two went into hiding, leaving a bag containing heroin. Later, the BDR team seized heroin.

Three muggers jailed

A Narayanganj court on Wednesday sentenced three muggers to jail for snatching a mobile phone and Tk 12 from a schoolboy. Two of the convicts-Islu Mia, 21, and Zahidul Islam, 18-were awarded two years' imprisonment while fugitive Gazibur Rahman, 19, was jailed for three years. According to the prosecution, the three took away a mobile phone and Tk 12 from Saddam Hossain, a class IX student of Haji Ujir Ali High School, at Banglabazar in Sadar upazila on August 4, 2008.As Saddam cried for help, local people caught two of the three muggers while the other managed to flee. They later handed over the two muggers to police. Later, a case was filed with Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court under Speedy Trial Act. After examining records and witnesses, Magistrate Bazlur Rahman pronounced the verdict.

13 shops gutted in Pirojpur

At least 13 shops were gutted in a fire at Sriramkathi Bazar in Nazirpur upazila on Thursday morning. Fire Brigade sources said the fire originated from an electric short circuit at a shop at about 8:30am and soon engulfed the adjoining shops. Firefighters from upazila headquarters and district town rushed to the spot and extinguished the blaze at around 10:30am.

Press club executives

Ahmad Ali Khan, executive editor of Dainik Purbanchal and Khulna Correspondent of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) and Bangladesh Observer SM Zahid Hossain have been elected president and general secretary of the new executive committee of Khulna Press Club. The newly-elected treasurer is Special Correspondent of Dainik Purbanchal Shudhangshu Mallick. The annual election, held at the press club auditorium on Tuesday, was conducted by a three-member team headed by Khan Mohammad Rezaul Karim. All the 85 votes were cast and editor of Dainik Prabaho Ashraful Huq polled the highest number of 70 votes.

Girl hurt in gang attack

A teenage girl was injured in gang attack at West Deobhog in the district town on Tuesday. Victim Bristi, 18, is daughter of Babul Mia of Nagbari area of the town. Family sources said, some unknown criminals intercepted her at gunpoint while she was returning home from a nearby shop in the morning and stabbed her leaving her critically injured. She was rushed to Narayanganj General Hospital. The reason behind the attack could not be known immediately.

Letters

Drug and young generation

Drug addiction is not only a national but also a global problem. The drug addiction has grasped the young generation of our country. The drugs are very expensive and young boys can't arrange money.

Climate change

Now we need not be an astrologer or quote a reference from a holy scripture to predict a doomsday when the earth will permanently collapse and all living beings will become extinct. Today science forecasts a doomsday that might come in a few years because of global warming and climate change. There is no doubt that human existence will be threatened if the earth gets warmer at present rate.

Powerless city!

Load shedding has been a common scene in Dhaka city as far back as I can remember. With passage of time it went from bad to worse. And the government keeps making promise of reducing it. But the more they promise, the worse it gets. Ever since I learned to read the newspaper, every other day I would see talks of new power plants, ways to reduce power consumption and increase production. The government allocates more and more money each year to the power sector, but to no use. And during the elections, every party makes pledges of improvement in the power sector. But clearly, somebody has been sleeping on the job.

Cadet colleges

I read with interest the article captioned 'Yes, Cadet Colleges do serve national interest' by Ekram Kabir (DS-24 December). While agreeing with his observations and view points I would like to add a few points. There are pains and gains in the Cadet College education. The pain part is that a very tender boy/girl is removed from household, from natural parental care and love and pressed into a challenging situation. The gain starts from there on. The same boys are more disciplined, confident, hard working, take initiatives, 'doer' and achievers in military, civil services, public sectors, business, industries etc. It is the training and rigorous discipline which make all the difference. For the growth and development of a nation and country such discipline is required.

New Year, new hope

New things are always fascinating. Everyone thinks anew and with new hope with the commencement of a year. We achieved many things in our personal, family, social, political and national life in 2009. At the same time we lost and missed many things.

Late singer Mahmudun Nabi

The other night I was watching a touchy live show on desh tv which was participated by son, daughters of late celebrated singer Mahmudun Nabi. Like some previous shows on the mini screen, it reminded us that the late melodious singer Mahmudun Nabi during his lifetime had never been given due recognition of his outstanding talent, and his contributions to Bengali music. Mahmudun Nabi's songs are very popular among both the young and the old generations.

G M Quader's article

The article of GM Quader published in The Daily Star on 23 December 2009 drew my attention. I highly appreciate and entirely support his meticulous views. He appropriately depicted that some so-called terrorist organisations in the name of freedom movement try to destabilize the regional peace, even unpopular to their own people. He also rightly gave the indication of Bangladesh's position that the country is no more a safe heaven for terrorists. Bangladeshis are peace-loving people, they never support any exaggeration in the name of religion or freedom of movement. Mr. Quader rightly mentioned “...It is, therefore, an insult to our War of Independence to compare it with the wanton attacks perpetrated by many of the terrorist groups of our region when innocent people, even women and children, fall prey.” I also support his idea how we can take advantage of India's education system and medical facilities. In this regard, we can clearly mention that India has to spend lots of money for countering terrorism activities in its land. And Bangladesh saves its huge expenditure by not harbouring its ULFA and other terrorist organisations.

Illegal fines?

Byron's front-page lead news published in your December 23 issue is a new surprising twist! Were the members of the caretaker government so ignorant that they ignored this very vital legal issue? What has the Adviser then in charge of the Law portfolio, got to say about it?

Great improvement!

In my sixty years of life, I have joined the city's main Eid congregation at National Eidgah during Eid-ul -Fitr & Eid-ul -Azha many a time. I am well accustomed to the poor arrangement of Dhaka City Corporation at the National Eidgah.

BNP and Tarique

The BNP was born to oppose the AL. They are doing so and would continue as long as they do not adopt a policy of cooperation in practice, rather than as a rhetoric. With Mr Tarique Rahman taking over the BNP, as it looks like, I am becoming very concerned whether the BNP will ever come out of the most restricted security zone. The issue is now low profile due to the intervention of the court of law. This is an issue one should think about. If Mr Tarique Rahman continues to practise politics living in the same cantonment house, the situation might be different from what it was during Khaleda Zia's days.

The Chevron issue

This is surprising to see that The Daily Star (DS) has apparently decided to remain on the sidelines on the subject which is the talk of the town at the moment the Chevron Scandal (?). For years, we are subscribing DS for authentic news. This is now unfortunate that we have to look for other newspapers on this developing story, which allegedly has the involvement of many stakeholders. This is particularly disappointing because on matters related to energy sector, the DS has been the leading newspaper for more than a decade now. For some reasons, it has now decided to remain quiet. Even if it has some compelling reasons to do so, it can at least inform its readers whether Chevron was awarded the contract in question outside any tender procedure or not. An honest answer to this simple question will answer many other related questions that the DS may decide not to deal with at this stage.

Our reply

From February 2009, The Daily Star has published at least 10 stories along with in-depth information on the gas compressor issue - from cancellation of the tender for installation of gas compressors by Petrobangla's ex-chairman to awarding a contract to Chevron questionably. The last story in this regard came out on October 27.

FF certificate

Our independence was achieved by the blood of millions of people. Our brave boys didn't show any kind of stinginess in sacrificing their lives to save our motherland. We don't have any accurate statistical data that tell us exactly how many people lost their lives during the liberation war. The most regrettable issue is, till now, we are not able to identify the number of original freedom fighters who directly participated in the liberation war. Many of them are now working as rickshaw-pullers or beggars. On the other hand, some people who were convicted as “Rajakar” at that time are now claiming themselves to be freedom fighters by collecting fake freedom fighter certificates.

India and we

Every government which came to power in Bangladesh tried its best to maintain a cordial and friendly relation with India.

Laudable step

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed the authorities to draft a new law and include a non-bailable section there for the plunderers of trees. We hope this upcoming law (If passed in parliament) will have enough power to protect trees and the green environment from the sinful activities.

International

Iran gives West ultimatum to accept nuke proposal

Iran yesterday gave the West a one-month "ultimatum" to accept a uranium swap, warning that if there is no deal it will produce its own nuclear fuel for a Tehran reactor, state television reported.

Israeli warplanes hit Gaza after rocket attack

Israeli aircraft attacked at least four targets in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip early yesterday, wounding two people in retaliation for a rocket strike on Israel, officials said.

Police shoot man who tried to kill cartoonist

Danish police shot and arrested an axe-wielding Somali who attacked a cartoonist reviled by Muslims for a controversial drawing of their Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (SM), authorities said yesterday.

Obama blames al-Qaeda affiliate for airliner attack

US President Barack Obama yesterday for the first time accused an al-Qaeda affiliate of arming and training a young Nigerian man for a thwarted suicide mission to blow up a US airliner.

John Major slams Blair over Iraq war

Former prime minister Sir John Major has criticised Tony Blair's handling of the Iraq war and his presentation of the case for invasion in March 2003.

KSA in talks with Iran over Laden daughter

Saudi Arabia said yesterday it is holding talks with Iran to repatriate Osama bin Laden's daughter to the kingdom after she took refuge in the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

Top ten smartest species of 2009 revealed

A report from BBC's Earth News has outlined ten of the smartest species revealed in 2009.

Britain for talks on fighting extremism in Yemen

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called an international meeting Friday on combating extremism in Yemen, after an alleged attempt to blow up a US airliner threw the spotlight on militancy there.

Fogs wreak havoc in N India

Dense fogs wreaked havoc last morning in North India as five trains collided in three separate incidents, the northern grid tripped and flights were delayed or diverted.

Jailed Ulfa leaders could be freed for peace talks

Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi Friday hinted at releasing jailed leaders of the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa) for peace talks, but wanted a formal communication from the outfit expressing their desire for negotiations with the government.

Pak bomb attack a warning to anti-Taliban tribes

A suicide car bombing that killed 93 people on a volleyball field sent a bloody New Year's warning to Pakistanis who have formed militias to fend off Taliban insurgents in the northwestern region near the Afghan border.

Afghan parliament rejects 5 Karzai cabinet nominees

Afghanistan's parliament rejected five of President Hamid Karzai's nominees for cabinet posts as a vote count continued on Saturday to finally form a government.

Manmohan is 'Chic Sikh' of 2009

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has been named the 'Chic Sikh' of 2009 by popular online Sikh magazine sikhchic.com.

Female feet getting larger

Women in the UK seem to be stepping out of their shoe sizes with the average going up from a five to a six in the last five years, experts have observed.

Most Indo-Pak nationals want peace

Despite the continuous hostility between the two countries, a majority of the billion and a half people of India and Pakistan want to live as peaceful and friendly neighbours, recent opinion surveys conducted by the Jang Group and the Times of India Group in Pakistan and India have revealed.

No Pakistani visa for any Balckwater official: Malik

Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has denied the presence of controversial private US security firm, Blackwater, in Pakistan, adding that none of the firm's officials have been given Pakistani visas.

Arts & Entertainment

Theatre galore at Shilpakala

The new year began on a high note for theatre lovers, as many theatre troupes staged plays at different venues of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on January 1.

Mela with a message Baul music needs impetus

A Baul mela to inspire 'Sufi and Baishnab Shadhaks' was held at the auditorium of Zila Shilpakala Academy recently. The mela included a discussion and rendering of songs composed by Gowsai Modan Mohan, a composer of spiritual songs. A reception was accorded to Gowsai by his disciples, mainly the Bauls of Mymensingh region. The garland-clad composer was received warmly by the audience.

“Experience the Movement” on the move

Dance has a rhythmic approach of articulation with the aid of graceful movements and eloquent expressions. This movement is to be experienced in full life in 'Experience the Movement', a joint venture of Nrityadhara and US Embassy. It will be held on January 3, at Shilpakala Academy at 7.00pm.

New Year celebrations in Khagrachhari

The indigenous people of Khagrachhari ushered in 2010 with traditional festivities, cultural functions and the exchange of greetings. The function was organised by Marma Socio Cultural Organisation Digital Samity.

Theatre festival for generating awareness on human rights

Theatre can play a vital role in generating awareness about human rights, said speakers at a discussion held in the course of a two-day theatre festival in Pabna which concluded on Thursday. Human Rights Theatre Organisation Pabna district unit committee organised the festival at the Pabna Town Hall premises.

Celebrities in celebration of New Year...

‘Praner Mela', hosted by beautician Kaniz Almas Khan and singer Fahmida Nabi, was what the name suggested. Many had come together to welcome the new year with a new spirit and a new enthusiasm. It was held on the dusk of 1 January at the Bengal Gallery in Dhanmondi. The guests started flooding in from after 7 pm. The programme continued all the way till midnight.

Ishara Bhashi in assembly in Jhenidah

Recently an assembly of Ishara Bhashi and cultural show was held at Jhenidah district Shilpakala academy. At the initiative of the Association for Integrated Socio Economic Development under Privileged people (AISEDUP), speech impaired persons performed spontaneously.

OP-ED

Stuck here on earth

CURRENTLY, humankind is set in motion to create history, and what is history, indeed, but a record of change? The guided principle behind this history is none other than climate change. The world today is a much warmer place than it used to be in the last century and this rate of warming is unprecedented, even going back millions of years. The sea levels are rising, even small changes in the sea level have large effects; for example: a one metre rise in the sea level will claim 15-20% land from the southern parts of Bangladesh, Maldives will go under and other small island states, coastal communities and low-lying areas of the world will fall to a similar fate.

The polluter pays principle

THE last few months has seen startling news headlines on river pollution and a momentous High Court Directive given on June 25, 2009 to save ecologically critical rivers surrounding Dhaka. Another High Court directive was given to the tannery industry to expedite its relocation to Savar, where they will be allowed to operate using Central Effluent Treatment Plants (CETPs) to reduce the impact of their effluents on surrounding water bodies. More and more, we see an emphasis on making the polluters accountable for the ecological damage they are causing to themselves and to their future generations. Indeed, holding the current economic drivers accountable for environmental damage is also at the heart of Bangladesh's climate change demands. However, looking for environmental responsibility as a piecemeal initiative (e.g. separate HC directives noted above) may be a beginning, but we need to think of it within a broader framework. It is time Bangladesh addresses pollution management, financing and cost recovery by rethinking the current modes of operation employed by the regulatory stakeholders in line with the opportunities presented within the full cost recovery options using polluter and user pays principles.

Electrification through biogas

BANGLADESH still remains an agrarian country. Because of increasing population growth, the amount of per capita cultivable land is dwindling very fast. In order to survive as a nation, and to prosper in the 21st century, Bangladesh will have to shift from an agrarian economy to an industrial one. Consequently, power generation will have to increase substantially to achieve that goal and measures to achieve countrywide transmission coverage should be initiated on a priority basis. Electricity is an essential pre-requisite for technological progress and economic growth. Bangladesh has been facing a severe power crisis for about a decade. Currently, power generation in the country is almost entirely dependent on natural gas (i.e. 84.5% of total electricity generation installed capacity). At the current 10% annual rate of growth of consumption, the proven reserve of natural gas may not last more than the next 10-15 years. Electrification of villages in remote areas usually requires large investment and leads to power losses associated with transmission and distribution networks.

Reawakening

EACH year marks a milestone in the march of time, and every year, we in South Asia, never fail to recall the anniversary of our triumph over colonialism, and somewhat less jubilantly, a historic but bitter partition. Beyond this truly liberating experience, the rewards of freedom would appear to have eluded the children of liberty. Quarter of a century onward, predictably enough, we opted to repeat history, with undiminished ferocity. What was once considered "the jewel in the crown" of the Empress of India, fragmented into India, Pakistan, and better late than never, Bangladesh. In the first instance, it was the largest mass migration in history, and in the latter, yet another chapter in the continuing saga of mass murder. In both instances, millions were massacred in the name of language, geography, ideology, economics, politics and above all, God.


The Daily Star

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