The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Monday, 4th of January, 2010

Front Page

Teesta flows in thin

The flow of water on the Teesta has weakened significantly in last 24 years for Gajoldoba barrage and some dams built by India in the river's upper basin.

No more unplanned housing in Dhaka

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said miscreants are threatening one of her cabinet members for pursuing government move to preserve water bodies and playgrounds in the city, as these are disappearing for unauthorised building constructions.

SC lifts stay on verdict

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday lifted its four-year old stay order on a High Court (HC) verdict that had declared illegal and unconstitutional the fifth amendment to the country's constitution.

JS sits today without BNP

The Jatiya Sangsad goes into new year session today with the BNP-led opposition continuing its boycott of the House since its second session in June last year.

Death warrants issued for 5

A Dhaka court yesterday issued death warrants against five convicted killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Water talks start today amid high hopes

Water sharing of the Teesta river will dominate the secretary level talks of the Joint Rivers Commission starting today.

Hasina's visit to open a new chapter

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's upcoming visit to India would usher in a new era of Indo-Bangladesh relations and substantially widen the scopes of cooperation between the two countries, said Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday.

Tigers face Lankans today

Young paceman Shafiul Islam will make his debut for Bangladesh when the Tigers take on Sri Lanka in the opening match of the Idea Cup triangular ODI series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Country reels from cold, fog

With the people suffering the sting of a mild cold wave for last one week, Met office predicts another bout of severe cold wave would sweep the country in the second half of January.

Law Commission left out of focus

Although the law commission has not received any government response to its two-year scheme for legal and judicial reforms, it started working as per the plan from yesterday.

Upazila chairmen warn of agitation

Upazila chairmen and vice-chairmen yesterday asked the government to meet their 10-point demand by January 20 and otherwise threatened to announce tough action programme from a rally on January 21.

AL allies feeling unimportant

The Awami League sits with its allies in 14-party grand alliance tomorrow for the first time since the alliance assumed power early January lest year.

Boeing buying plan sent back for scrutiny

The cabinet committee on economic affairs yesterday sent back for further scrutiny the civil aviation ministry's proposal to waive Public Procurement Act conditions for the pre-delivery payment to buy two aircraft from Boeing.

SSC exams start Feb 1

The Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations will begin simultaneously from February 1 across the country with the participation of about 12 lakh examinees.

Zardari at odds with army chief

In a bid to remove 'misunderstanding' between President Asif Ali Zardari and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Defence Minister Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar are likely to arrange a meeting between the two.

CID seeks 4 more months for report

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) yesterday filed an application with a Dhaka court seeking four more months to submit the probe report on one of the two August 21 grenade attack cases.

UK minister arrives today

John Denham MP, secretary of state for communities and local government of UK, arrives here today on a three-day visit.

Climate talks a let-down

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who successfully fought against binding caps on emissions at the Copenhagen climate talks, admitted yesterday that all parties involved were unhappy with the results.

'More women will be working than men within four years'

More women will be working than men within four years due to recession, creating a "Full Monty" effect, a British think-tank has predicted.

Beat the blues by going to bed early

It seems parents have long been right. Going to bed early is key to getting enough sleep and helping adolescents feel on top of the world, a new study reported.

PM not going to Kolkata for security reasons

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's planned trip to West Bengal during her four-day visit to India has been cancelled on security grounds.

Correction

In our report headlined "Build capacity for climate challenge," published on January 3, it was inadvertently mentioned that Bangladesh would receive a climate change adaptation fund of $10 billion yearly for the next three years and the amount would be $100 billion from 2020, quoting Dr Ainun Nishat, senior adviser on climate change to IUCN Asia.

Editorial

Our priorities after Copenhagen

THE Daily Star round table on post-Copenhagen priorities on Saturday has clearly brought home to us certain realities we in Bangladesh need to handle where climate change is concerned. In precise terms, now that the accord, however flawed, is there, it is time to move from generalisations to specifics. This is especially true of Bangladesh, one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Indeed, with projections of as much as one-fifth of the country being lost to the ravages wrought by carbon emissions, there is certainly no time to lose. The options are limited or are not there at all. In other words, adaptability is not an option but a necessity for us as also for other vulnerable nations.

Nahid redeems his pledge

SET against failed track records of the National Curriculum and Text Book Board(NCTB), or for that matter of the Education Ministry in reaching text books to schools ahead of academic session, what the education minister has pulled off is a truly remarkable feat. Whereas school-going children could hardly lay their hands on school text books even well into the first quarter of an academic session, they are left profusely elated at the scent of the new books on their very first day in school.

Growing old without maturing

WE, the people who matter, hardly grew in Bangladesh although the country has grown pretty old, whizzing past thirty-eight years eventful years of its existence. In the early seventies, the constant refrain used to be that of war ravages that did not let the honey and milk flow together in "Golden Bengal." We have lived much longer in independent Bangladesh than we did in united Pakistan, which we hold responsible for all of our woes. We now enjoy all the freedom to fashion our destiny and turn the country of our dream into a greener pasture. Yet, nothing seems to have changed much beyond geographical bifurcation.

Unacceptable state of the ship-breaking sector

HOW much is a human life worth? 21 workers died in 2009 in Chittagong ship-breaking yards. The death of 5 workers in an oil tanker explosion at a ship-breaking yard in Chittagong on December 26 is still fresh in our memory. There have been hundreds of meetings and seminars, but nothing has changed.

Sense and absence

DOES it matter that there was no tribal or Muslim on the dais when the Congress celebrated its 125th anniversary? Or that the history of the party has now been co-opted into the history of the Nehru-Gandhi family, with token homage to Mahatma Gandhi and throwaway references to titans of the first two decades of our nation-building process?

Sports

India different altogether

Indian cricket team were all smiles when they arrived in Dhaka on Saturday. Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was seen accepting the traditional hospitality with enthusiasm at the airport while vice-captain Virender Sehwag talked a lot about the bright side of a happy year that has just passed by.

SL's faith in youth

Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss is optimistic with their young crop of current players and thinks that the players, who have played in most of the games of the just-concluded one-day series with India, have the talent in them to do whatever it takes to become champions in the tri-nation series.

A stern New Year test for Tigers

The country has been going through a cold wave but it is expected that there will be no short of fireworks out in the middle at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur when the tri-nation one-day tournament kicks off today with a match between hosts Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Enamul on fire

Striker Enamul Haque struck a brace as defending champions Abahani came from behind to post a 3-1 win over Rahmatganj Muslim Friends Society in the Citycell Bangladesh League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

SA agree to play 2 Tests on India tour

India will host a hastily-arranged two-Test series against South Africa at Nagpur and Kolkata, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Sunday.

BCCI readies Kotla reply

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) top brass met here yesterday to draft their reply to the International Cricket Council (ICC) showcause notice on the December 27 pitch fiasco at Feroz Shah Kotla so that the venue evades an international ban and gets away with a fine.

End of Ntini?

Makhaya Ntini was dropped from the South African team on Sunday in a move which could hasten the end of a notable Test career.

97 new register with IPL

Ninety-seven players, including 26 from Pakistan and several latterly with the Indian Cricket League (ICL), have registered for the third Indian Premier League (IPL) auction, which will be held on January 19.

Hussey disappointed

The pitch was tough but Michael Hussey felt Australia under-performed in falling to a disappointing 127 on the opening day of the second Test against Pakistan at the SCG on Sunday. After winning the toss, the hosts tumbled to 7 for 62 and had to rely on 38 from Mitchell Johnson and Hussey's 28 to push them to three figures.

H'ball course finishes

A refreshers' course for the handball coaches and referees concluded yesterday at the Mirpur Shaheed Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium with some 28 participants from across the country taking part in the three-day course.

Adams's idea

West Indies have abundance of talent but will have to work on the grassroot level if they desire to produce more cricketers like Brian Lara, feels former captain Jimmy Adams.

SAG liaison officers' course concludes

A three-day training for 300 liaison officers for the South Asian Games (SAG) ended yesterday at the newly-built Bangladesh Olympic Association Bhahan adjacent to the outer stadium.

Cairns eyes IPL stint

Former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Cairns is eyeing an international cricket comeback at the age of 39 by registering for the next player auction in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL).

Swann rocks SA

A double strike by England off-spinner Graeme Swann plunged South Africa into trouble on the first day of the third Test at Newlands here on Sunday.

Asif shoots six down

Mohammad Asif completed a career-best six-wicket haul as part of Pakistan's broader demolition of Australia on the opening day of the second Test that called into question Ricky Ponting's decision to bat first on a Sydney green-top.

'I never wanted to leave'

As he looks forward to his first return to Old Trafford in March, David Beckham has made the admission that he wanted to emulate Ryan Giggs and spend his entire career with Manchester United.

Reading hold L'pool

Liverpool's season suffered another stutter as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Championship strugglers Reading in the third round of the FA Cup on Saturday.

Barca drop points

Barcelona dropped their first home points of the season on Saturday in a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Villarreal as the Spanish league season resumed after its winter break.

Leeds scalp bitter rivals Man Utd

Third-tier Leeds United produced the shock of the third round by knocking record 11-times winners Manchester United out of the FA Cup with a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Mancini eyes Cordoba

Roberto Mancini conceded it is "possible" Manchester City will sign Inter Milan defender Ivan Cordoba following his side's 1-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the third round of the FA Cup.

It's not Jose's Chelsea: Carlo

Carlo Ancelotti insists Jose Mourinho is wrong to use the term "my Chelsea" as the mind games continue ahead of the Champions League clash against Inter Milan in February.

Business

Reforms take hold in banks

The central bank initiated some reform programmes last year for modernising the banking sector of the country, but some government steps sent bad signals to the overall governance in the sector.

DGEN beats record in New Year trade

Stocks finished the first trading day of 2010 yesterday on a positive note, riding on the market heavyweights -- telecom, energy and power, pharmaceuticals and non-bank financial sectors.

Govt eases ban on jute export

The government yesterday allowed traders to export only 1.68 lakh bales of raw jute, a shipment that had been blocked for about a month by a ban on raw jute export.

Development Bank takes off

Bangladesh Development Bank Ltd (BDBL) has formally went into banking activities yesterday with a huge burden including 534 court cases involving Tk 2,100 crore and a written-off liability worth Tk 2,480 crore.

Economy turning around

The central bank governor has said Bangladesh economy is rebounding with the signs of enhanced domestic demand and positive trends of all key indicators like imports, remittance and growth in gross domestic product.

Orascom loses appeal on France Telecom

An Egyptian regulator has turned down an appeal by Orascom Telecom against its previous ruling that could allow a France Telecom subsidiary to buy up Egypt's biggest mobile services provider.

Parliament expected to pass insurance bills

The winter session of parliament that begins today is expected to pass two insurance-related bills, aiming to streamline the insurance business.

Parliament expected to pass insurance bills

The winter session of parliament that begins today is expected to pass two insurance-related bills, aiming to streamline the insurance business.

Barua unhappy with ADP implementation

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday expressed his dissatisfaction over the implementation rate of annual development programme (ADP) under his ministry in the current fiscal year.

Self-monitoring to pay off in containing prices

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said businessmen themselves should monitor the market for better price control because the government's direct intervention may give a rise to corruption.

Eurozone faces 2010 debt crisis

The eurozone's new year heralds a debt crisis that has alarm bells ringing and markets tracking government plans to tame the growing shortfall.

Minister stresses awareness of green energy

State Minister for Power Enamul Haque yesterday asked the private sector entrepreneurs to make people aware of diversified use of 'green energy' as an alternative source of power.

IPO lottery on Trust Bank mutual fund

The IPO lottery on the Trust Bank First Mutual Fund took place at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre yesterday.

Small is big at Delhi auto show

Small will be big at an Indian auto show when the world's leading manufacturers unveil a slew of compact cars designed for one of the world's fastest growing markets.

Accreditation and world trade

The past decade has seen dramatic changes in the world economy. Regional economic groups have emerged to protect and promote trade interests of different groups. This has led to adoption of measures that can serve to bar entry of other countries from outside the groups. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) while recognising these economic groups has taken steps so that technical regulations and standards do not impede world trade. One of the steps is the introduction of international standards and conformity assessment systems. Under the WTO agreement on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), member countries have taken up:

Asian currencies mixed

Asian currencies were mixed against the US dollar last week in thin year-end trade.

Shell CO2 stocking plans under fire

A plan by oil giant Shell to store 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year in a depleted gas reservoir beneath this Dutch city has drawn the ire of residents and local officials who have vowed to thwart it.

Tokyo bourse to launch high-speed trading system

The Tokyo Stock Exchange will launch a new high-speed trading system Monday, scrapping an antiquated, glitch-prone platform for one that aims to compete with major global rivals.

Japan to double credit line for troubled JAL

Japan said it agreed on Sunday to give a new lifeline to troubled Japan Airlines by doubling a state-funded loan for the carrier to 200 billion yen (2.2 billion dollars).

French industry fears revised carbon tax

The French government's first job for 2010 is to revise its planned carbon emissions tax, raising fears among businesses they will be hurt by changes to the environmental measure.

Bono calls for control over internet downloads

Irish rock star Bono called Sunday for tougher controls over the spread of intellectual property over the internet, arguing that file swiping and sharing hurt creators of cultural products.

Metropolitan

Turning Bangladesh into most adaptive country big challenge

Transforming Bangladesh, now the most vulnerable to climate change, into the most adaptive country within the next 10 years is the biggest challenge ahead, speakers at an environmental conference said yesterday.

ACC catches 6 with bribe

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in December alone caught six employees in utility services red-handed while taking bribe in a drive against corruption aimed at reducing sufferings of general people in the area.

DCC makes draft voter list public

The Election Commission yesterday published draft voter list for Dhaka City Corporation area, inviting people to file complaints against errors if any.

62nd anniversary of BCL today

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL), the student wing of ruling Awami League, will celebrate its 62nd founding anniversary today.

JCD faction continues protest

A faction of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leaders continued their protest against its new President Sultan Salauddin Tuku and BNP's former students' affairs secretary Fazlul Haque Milon on Dhaka University campus yesterday.

ADAB hails Abed

Association of Development Agencies in Bangladesh (ADAB) yesterday congratulated Fazle Hasan Abed, founder and chairperson of Brac, on his being Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

School admission hurdle too big for little children

Young learners had to go through a difficult patch for getting them admitted to the topmost government schools in the city for the new academic session as the number of admission seekers exceeded the seat capacity of 400 public and private schools.

8 highway trauma centres to reopen

The government will reopen the eight highway trauma centres this month, which has remained closed for a long time, Health Minister AFM Ruhal Haque said yesterday.

5 DU students injured, 23 shops vandalised

At least five Dhaka University students were injured and 23 shops were ransacked at Baku Shah Hawkers' Market in the city's Nilkhet area yesterday in a string of clashes between students and booksellers.

Probe against VC begins

A three-member probe committee started its investigation into the allegations of irregularities and nepotism against the vice chancellor (VC) of Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU) yesterday.

Appeal for help

Tahsin, a five-year-old boy, has been suffering from congenital heart disease.

Condolence book opens for Abdurrahman Wahid

The Indonesian Embassy in Dhaka opened a condolence book for late Abdurrahman Wahid, former president of Indonesia, on the embassy premises at Road No. 53, Plot No. 14, Gulshan-2, yesterday, says a press release.

PM for free education at all levels

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said education at all levels in the country should be free as investment in education is the best investment.

Fire at dyeing factory in city

A devastating fire yesterday gutted a huge quantity of yarns and chemicals of a dyeing and knitting factory at Shyampur in the capital.

Redesign varsity curriculum

Bangladesh has to redesign the curriculum and teaching approaches in the universities to help students become worthy citizens in pluralistic societies and learn skills to face the daunting global challenges, eminent educationist Prof Gowher Rizvi said yesterday.

IGP to be elevated to 3-star general

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday endorsed the plea for elevating the Inspector General of Police to the rank of three-star general, equivalent to Lieutenant General of the army.

Reshuffle in judiciary

In a latest reshuffle in judiciary, 20 lower court judges have been transferred in consultation with the Supreme Court, said an official handout yesterday.

Iajuddin hospitalised

Former president Iajuddin Ahmed was admitted to Apollo Hospitals in the city early yesterday.

Corruption at court starts from the listing of cases

Bench officers of courts indulge in corruption due to inefficiency and carelessness of judges concerned, said Attorney General Mahbubey Alam yesterday.

106 students get EBL grants

A total of 106 Dhaka University (DU) students, including 29 students with disabilities, were awarded financial grants yesterday for their outstanding academic results in 2009.

Freedom Party's EC registration at stake

Freedom Party, formed by some convicted killers of Bangabandhu, may lose its registration with the Election Commission (EC) as it informed the EC about its inability to submit its ratified charter before the deadline.

Workshop on info literacy begins

A twoday workshop on information literacy began at East West University (EWU) for its faculty member and students, says a press release.

Amar Desh acting editor, 2 others get bail

The High Court yesterday granted anticipatory bail for three months to Acting Editor of the Amar Desh Mahmudur Rahman, Publisher Hasmat Ali and special correspondent M Abdullah as they surrendered before it in a defamation case filed against them amid a row over a report on graft.

Journo Ashok Sen no more

Ashok Sen, a staff reporter of the daily Prothom Alo, passed away due to a prolonged illness in Jessore yesterday at the age of 58.

Annual general meeting of DU '69 batch

The annual general meeting and picnic of the '69 batch of Dhaka University will be held on January 15 at Bitopi Chhaya of Mia Bari Road (opposite Malancha Gate of National Park) at Gazipur, says a press release.

National

PSTU filling up lake ignoring master plan

Patuakhali Science and Technology University (PSTU) authorities have started filling up an artificial lake on the campus to construct two academic buildings, ignoring the master plan of PSTU.

Seven outlaws of newly formed outfit held

Seven outlaws of a newly formed extremist outfit were arrested in Bagerhat and Khulna yesterday while eight members of another outlawed party held in Chuadanga on Thursday.

RU Shibir damages 50 tubs of bonsai

Shibir activists damaged 50 tubs of bonsai on the premises of Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Hall of Rajshahi University (RU) on Saturday night.

Brick fields in Satkhira fined

Two owners have been sued for setting up brick fields illegally on Marichchap River char at Gava village under Satkhira Sadar Police Station.

24 lakh marginal farmers to get agri aid this month

Around 24 lakh small and marginal farmers in eight northern districts are going to get government's assistance for agriculture materials as authorities have taken the initiative under Krishi upakaran sahayata programme to boost agriculture production.

Protector turns predator

Chuadanga police finally suspended assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Alim on charge of his alleged attempt to violate a young widow on Saturday.

Teachers of two schools return money on complaint

Teachers of two primary schools in Beanibazar upazila of Sylhet district yesterday returned the money that they took from the students against the government-supplied free textbooks.

KPM faces acute fund crisis

Karnaphuli Paper Mills (KPM), an industrial unit of Bangladesh Chemical Industries Corporation (BCIC), is facing acute fund crisis as paper worth about Tk two crore lying unsold.

Human chain by landless

Over 300 people formed a human chain in the town yesterday demanding arrest and punishment to the killers of landless leader Saifullah Laskar. The human chain organised by Satkhira District Landless Association at New Market intersection was followed by a rally there at about 11:00 am. The speakers at the rally alleged that Laskar was killed by the land grabbers on December 5 as he had been leading agitation to establish the rights of landless people on government khas lands for long. They blamed the land grabbers for plotting the murder. They also criticised police for dilly-dally in nabbing the killers.

Students attack bus stand

Agitated students of Nilphamari Government College attacked Anando Babur Pool bus stand in the town and damaged a bus and a bus counter yesterday. Sources said, four students boarded a Nilphamari bound bus from Rangpur when it reached Tenganmari Bazar bus stand on Rangpur- Nilphamari road. As the conductor demanded higher bus fare, the students wanted to pay 50pc of the fare on the plea of being students. The conductor refused to accept half fare triggering an altercation. At a stage, the bus staff assaulted the students when the bus reached Nilphamari. The students left the place but returned with other students in a big procession. The agitated college students then ransacked the bus stand and damaged a standing bus and a bus counter.

Arms recovered in Bogra

Police recovered two revolvers, four bullets and a knife from Thonthonia Poschimpara area of the district town on Saturday morning. On a secret information, a police team went to the area and recovered the arms from under a bridge near the local government primary school in abandoned state. Another report from Jhenidah adds: Rab recovered one foreign made rifle and three bullets at Chandpur Bazaar in Shailakupa upazila on Saturday.

Sec 144 in Joypurhat

Joypurhat district administration yesterday imposed Section 144 in Kalai upazila as two factions of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) arranged their founding anniversary programmes simultaneously at the same place.

Death of a long-beaked dolphin

Police and fisheries officials brought dead this long-beaked dolphin to Shibchar upazila complex premises after it was caught in a fishing rod in the Padma River at Puratan Jahajghata in Madhabchar under Shibchar upazila of Madaripur district yesterday morning. Upazila fisheries officials said the 9.5-feet-long dolphin would be buried as they have no arrangement for its preservation.

Letters

On a hotter planet!

Mark Lynas is an activist, journalist & author. He made many appearances in the media as commentator on environmental issues. He is author of High Tide & was also selected as a National geographic emerging explorer in 2006. Mark Lynas tried to let the people know the information he could collect which is truly unique, a degree by degree guide to our future on a hotter planet. After reading this book it made me curious & terrified too. Sunday Times commented: “Our future on a hotter planet-six degrees, I tell you now, is terrifying”. Lynas says six degrees change in day night temperature will do no harm to the earth. But six degrees of global average change is an entirely different prospect. Six degrees as he said was beginning to feel like a survival manual, full of indications about which parts of the globe might need to be abandoned & which would be most likely to remain habitable. It also came to light that global warming is making the hydrological cycle more intense causing heavier storm & more intense hurricanes to brew up out at sea. He said about the misery suffered in New Orleans three years ago. He felt-like an insight into what the twenty first century may have in store for many of us in thousands of locations across the world as climate change accelerates. It further said that thermal inertia of the oceans would take centuries for temperature to stabilize which amply indicated that we have already reached the point of no return. He also said six degrees might be depressing, the impacts are terrifying but they are still avoidable.

For a modern Dhaka

In view of the pledge of the prime minister to upgrade Dhaka to a modern, beautiful and hassle-free city, ensuring smooth communications both on roads and waterways in and around the capital, I would like to reproduce below a few suggestions I made earlier on the issue of tackling the unplanned growth of the Dhaka city:

Price spiral

Recently, the Trading Corporation of Bangladesh(TCB) has released the information about price rates during the tenures of past three governments. In 2006, coarse rice was sold at Tk 17 per kg, which became Tk 27 on 5 January.

Women's rights

A recent poll conducted by The Daily Star has illustrated that women’s rights are still a contentious issue in our country. The results of the poll reminded me of the criticism that the last caretaker government had to contend with after it passed the National Women’s Development Policy. I realize I may be treading on very thin ice by bringing up this topic because of its obvious implications but, nonetheless, I would like to say that equality isn’t something that people have to strive for in this age. It should be something accorded to all of us regardless of our sex, income level, or religion.

"Little things please little minds"

Yes, one of your writers from UK has rightly and timely quoted the above proverb (DS 28 Dec.) to 'stop name game'. I have had in mind to write at length on the subject but then thought the way the courtiers of the present government are active in collecting and suggesting names, I can not win the race!

BNP’s policy

The BNP’s stand against India’s proposal of sending security personnel to guard their high commission is quite intriguing. It’s also self-contradictory, because they never question the presence of US marine corps at the US Embassy. If they allow the marines why create a fuss about the Indians?

Jamaat and a poet

My understanding is, a true Muktijoddha can never compromise with the Rajakars & Al Badr members who were involved with the gruesome killings and rapes of 1971. Came to know from a local daily that Poet Al Mahmud received an award from a reception of Jamaat-e-Islami that was arranged to honour (!) the freedom fighters. I personally feel disgusted that Mr. Al Mahmud had the discernment to participate in a programme like this which was arranged by a political party which does not believe in the very existence of Bangladesh!

Future leaders

Pakistani President Mr. Asif Ali Zardari has vowed to fight legal battle in the court against a recent Supreme Court ruling. We highly appreciate his spirit and believe that it will be a good end for public view.

Underpass at Mohakhali

Thousands of people cross the Airport Road everyday from DOHS Mohakhali to Banani & Mohakhali Bazar & vice versa risking their lives. But the City Corporation is not paying any heed to the problem. May be they are not even aware of this problem. There are underpasses in Karwan Bazar & Gulistan which are serving a useful purpose.

Drug menace

Drug addiction is a state of periodic or chronic intoxication produced by the repeated consumption of a drug (natural or synthetic). It is dangerous for health and a curse for society. There are thousands of addicted people in Bangladesh and most of them are young. The young Bangladeshis are addicted to drug because of agony, anxiety, depression, bad company etc. Moreover, young people belonging to the upper class of society take alcohol and other drugs to maintain their status in the friend circles. Day by day, they are becoming more addicted to drugs in order to keep on their friend circle. As a result, whenever the young are being addicted by drug, they can not come back from it, so that they have to face different kinds of problems in life. Verily, drug is so easy to get in our country because its network is widespread.

Toward and towards

One of my colleagues while engaged in writing a text suddenly asked me, what’s the difference between the words ‘Toward’ and ‘Towards’? In usage these two words often create confusions, which one is correct?

Pensioners & red-tapism

The government should open one-stop service centres for old pensioners, so that they do not have to run from one office and table to another. This is essential in view of the new pension scales announced by the government.

Cadet college story

Thank you for the article on Faujdarhat Cadet College “Wistful Memories and Unfulfilled Promises” by M. Rahman (The Daily Star: Internet Edition, December 15, 2009). It starts with his dilemma in joining the golden jubilee and ends with his disillusionment, in his view, in the elite school’s apparent failure of fulfilling the expectations of the nation. This is in stark contrast with a piece by another FCC alumnus F. Ahmed, presumably his 6th intake mate, entitled “Faujdarhat Cadet College: Half a Century of Excellence” (The Daily Star: Internet Edition, April 28, 2008) that glorified its ‘visionary founder’ and ‘the legendary founding principal’ as well as the accomplishments of many ex-cadets, among other things.

Afghanpur, not Pakhtunkhwa

Let us strike at the root of the trouble. And the only best way out for resolving our protracted problems is to declare the presently 22 divisions of the country (Pakistan) as provinces and each one has to be declared entitled for equal resources, irrespective of population, topography and area. The root cause for all of our basic tribulations is mis-governance and mismanagement because of incompetence of our elite and unmanageability of our masses. But looters are not supposed to be leaders.

Our duty

The faithful have faith in the Day of Judgement. What we need is to keep on doing good to all.

Energy spent, but no power!

From January to December this year, much energy has been spent in talking about new power plants. We have heard of many plans for doubling our power generation capacities within the next three years; but alas not even one contract for a new power plant has been signed till date. Energy of sound-bites and print-bites have reached significant levels, but setting up of new power plants is at zero level of achievement!

Mugda hospital

We need thousands of physicians to provide medical service to the countrymen and to send professional manpower abroad to earn foreign currency the country needs to implement the development programmes. A 500-bed hospital is being constructed at Mugda in Dhaka city by the government. No doubt it will increase health service facilities of the city. Shortage of medical collages in the country is one of the reasons behind scarcity of qualified medical practitioners. Thousands of science students at higher secondary level are interested to get medical education. Indeed, expansion of general higher education increases unemployed educated population, which is at present a mere wastage of national wealth.

English grammar

I refer to the letter by O H Kabir above ( 27Dec09). Firstly vowels are required to make a syllable which can be pronounced and it has nothing to do with grammar or meaning of a word. Besides the five explicit vowels of a, e, i, o, and u: y is recognised as a half vowel for the purposes of creating a syllable for pronunciation. Hence we can pronounce words like fly, dry etc of one syllable and slyly which is of two syllables or syzygy, a word of three syllables etc,. However use of y to enable creation of a syllable or syllables is much more restricted than the standard vowels, and syllabic words of this form are well known and are limited in number.

Trap the monster!

The ACC must feel like fighting a monster in its effort to curb corruption. To kill this monster all saner persons should be united and make themselves a separate force big enough to hem the monster round and force it to a trap placed by the ACC.

International

Pak govt faces backlash over security failure

Pakistani authorities faced a furious backlash yesterday over security and medical failures after a suicide bomber struck a volleyball match killing 99 people, as the latest violence left a former provincial minister and seven others dead.

Unresolved water issues may trigger Indo-Pak war

The impending issues over sharing river water between India and Pakistan could trigger a war between the two countries, Adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on education, Sardar Aseff Ali has said.

Afghan cabinet dispute is a 'setback': UN official

The head of the UN mission in Afghanistan said yesterday that lawmakers' decision to reject 70 percent of President Hamid Karzai's Cabinet nominees was a political setback that will only delay efforts to get a functioning government up and running.Kai Eide called parliament's rejection of 17 of Karzai's 24 picks on Saturday a "distraction" at a time when Afghanistan and the international community are trying to focus on urgently needed reforms.

Dense fog disrupts flights, trains for second consecutive day

The cold waves in North India have delayed and disrupted many flights and trains on Sunday as well. Reports of flight and train disruptions have come from other cities also.

Delhi on red alert as 3 terrorists flee from police custody

Delhi has been put on red alert as three Pakistani militants, who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the December 2000 attack on Red Fort, escaped while being taken to the GB Pant hospital here on Saturday evening.

'Zardari is a luckless president of a luckless country'

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has been unfairly criticised by media and people of Pakistan despite the fact that his wrongdoings have not come close to any of the earlier politicians of the country, according to Pakistani columnist Ayaz Amir.

18 militants killed in Afghanistan

Afghan and Nato forces have killed 18 militants in the northern province of Kunduz, where Taliban rebels are expanding their activities, an Afghan army officer said yesterday.

Indian anti-Naxal drive gets teeth with deployment of more forces

The anti -Maoist offensive has gathered momentum with the Union Home Ministry clearing the induction of more Central paramilitary forces into the operation.

5 Indian cops suspended for dancing at don's party

The Maharashtra government has cleared suspension of five police officers for allegedly dancing in a party organised for a gangster.

One die as 2 trains collide in Turkey

A passenger train crashed head-on into another train in northwestern Turkey on Sunday, killing one of the engine drivers and injuring at least seven other people, an official said.

Maoists kill 3 in West Midnapore

Two brothers were among three persons killed by suspected Maoists in West Midnapore district, police said today. Around 40 persons, suspected to be Maoists, barged into the house of one Anath Singh (40) and Siteshwar Singh, 35, at Shyamnagar village in Belpahari and chopped off their heads last night, they said.

India may buy US howitzers

In a bid to hasten the artillery modernisation programme for the Indian Army, the defence ministry is considering buying ultra-light howitzers from the US, an official said yesterday.

Terror threat shuts US, UK embassies in Yemen

The United States and Britain have shut their embassy in Yemen's capital Sanaa, citing "ongoing threats" by an al-Qaeda offshoot linked to an alleged failed US plane bomb plot.

West agrees to wait over nuclear proposal: Iran

Iran said yesterday the West had agreed to wait two months on a proposal to exchange enriched uranium and that a month has now passed, reiterating that if there is no deal it will produce its own fuel for a nuclear reactor.

Rio hotel turns horror as landslides kill 63

Rescuers pulled more bodies from an avalanche of thick mud and rock that buried a luxury Brazilian hotel filled with New Year's revellers, as the death toll from heavy rains in the south of the country rose to 63.

'Google phone' debut expected this week

Google is expected to ring in the new year by unveiling its own smartphone on Tuesday, the Nexus One, in a bid to expand its powerful Web brand in the booming mobile arena.

Troops drawdown from Iraq on track

The nearly two-month delay in holding Iraq's nationwide elections will not keep American combat troops from leaving the country as scheduled by the end of August, the top US commander in Iraq told The Associated Press in an interview Saturday.

Dubai ruler's global vision reaches skywards

Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed al-Maktoum, who on Monday inaugurates the world's tallest tower to mark his fourth year in power, appears determined not to let debt woes dampen his vision for Dubai's future.

Remains of early 1900s plane found in Antarctica

Remains of the first airplane ever taken to Antarctica, in 1912, have been found by Australian researchers, the team announced.

Arts & Entertainment

Starting the New Year with Tagore’s timeless songs

The latest instalment of Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha’s (BRSSS) regular musical soiree was held at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library on January 2. Ten selected member-artistes and expatriate singer Sirajus Salekin rendered Rabindranath's lesser-known as well as popular numbers at the programme.

A “Sonata” for Dhaka

“Sonata”, a one-act play by the eminent Indian playwright Mahesh Elkunchwar was adapted by Leesa Gazi to be performed as a bilingual play -- Bangla and English. The setting of the play was changed from Mumbai to London and three Indian women transformed into three Bangladeshi women living the lives of Londoners. "Sonata" was directed by British Bangladeshi director, Mukul Ahmed, and produced by Tara Arts in October 2008. This was the very first time that a theatre performance contained all Bangladeshi actors for the mainstream theatre in London. "Sonata" was part of Tara Arts' Displacement Season. All the plays included in this block explored the worlds of people forced to uproot and start a new life thousands of miles away, their loneliness and the sacrifices they have had to make.

Remembering Shawkat Osman

On the occasion of the 94th birth anniversary of noted novelist Shawkat Osman, Bangla Academy organised a memorial programme at the Seminar Hall of the academy on January 2. Professor Bulbon Osman, writer Purobi Basu and Professor Biswajit Ghosh were present as discussants, while National Professor Kabir Chowdhury presided over the meeting.

Jatrapala “Bibi Sultana” staged in Thakurgaon

A jatrapala titled “Bibi Sultana” was staged at Thakurgaon District Shilpakala Academy Auditorium recently.

Abdullah Al Mamun’s “Ekhono Kritodash” staged

Shapla Natya Goshthi, one of the leading cultural organisations of the greater Dinajpur district, staged renowned dramatist Abdullah Al Mamun's play "Ekhono Kritodash" at Thakurgaon Mirza Ruhul Amin Auditorium recently. Noted drama artiste of Thakurgaon, Rupkumar Guha Thakurata directed the play, which was the 13th production of Shapla Natya Goshthi.

Horse race and Jatrapala in Magura

A traditional horse race and Jatrapala (folk drama) were held at village Chhoy-Char under Moghi union of Magura sadar upazila recently.

Elton John helping Eminem fight drugs

Elton John says he has been helping American rapper Eminen fight drug problems for more than a year.

Peter Jackson is made Knight

New Zealand has made its most famous filmmaker a knight in the reinstatement of the title for the first time in a decade.

OP-ED

What does Bangladesh do next?

THE most talked about climate change summit in Copenhagen ended with a minimum agreement among the stakeholders. Most of the post-conference analyses by world leaders, academicians, journalists, and participants termed the final accord as disappointing, disastrous, chaotic, and insufficient to meet the future challenges. If we accept the IPCC predictions to be true for the next few decades, then the current way people lead their lives will have to change drastically.

Networking for global development

IN this 21st century, globalisation brings speed in human lives, where networking becomes a major vehicle for promoting cross-border social movement, businesses and personal contacts. Even though the aim of globalisation is to foster development in the world under one economy, its critics argue that globalisation is a myth since it is failing to bring benefit for a large number of people as the gap between poor and rich is increasing.

Costs of blindness and poverty alleviation

BLINDNESS has profound human and socioeconomic consequences. The costs of lost productivity and of rehabilitation and education of the blind constitute a significant economic burden for the individual, the family and society. The economic effects of visual impairment can be divided into direct and indirect costs. The direct costs are those of the treatment of eye diseases, including the relevant proportions of costs for running medical and allied health services, pharmaceuticals, research and administration.



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