The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, October 21, 2014


News of: Monday, 11th of January, 2010

Front Page

Oust land grabbers

State Minister for Housing Abdul Mannan Khan yesterday came down hard on land developers and realtors, and asked them to rid their associations of the land grabbers.

All water-sharing issues to be settled

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said all unresolved issues with India, including the issue of getting a fair share of the water of common rivers, will be resolved through discussions with the neighbouring country.

Syed Ashraf spills the beans again

LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said the previous BNP-Jamaat coalition government, with the help of Pakistan, allowed Bangladesh territory to be used for subversive activities against India.

BCL men warned of tough action

Ministers and top Awami League leaders want stern actions taken against Bangladesh Chhatra League while the prime minister has ordered top police officials to go tough on culprits involved in violence in the educational institutions in the name of student politics.

Huda, Mohiuddin, seek SC review

Two of the five detained killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman yesterday filed review petitions with the Supreme Court against the judgment confirming their death sentences.

TFI Cell at Pilkhana may be withdrawn

The temporary Taskforce for Interrogation (TFI) cell, set up at the Pilkhana headquarters of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) after the February 2009 mutiny in the border security force, is likely to be shut down following allegations of torture of mutiny suspects there, sources in the home ministry said.

BIWTA yet to find dumping site

Unable to find a suitable site for dumping rubbish so far removed from the Buriganga river bed, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) is now seeking environmental clearance for disposal of it in the Flood Flow Zone of Shoalmachi on the shore of the Turag river, BIWTA sources said.

Fire at BRDB building

The Bangladesh Rural Development Board Bhaban went up in flames yesterday burning into ashes the storeroom in its basement in capital's Karwan Bazar.

Work hard to save people in distress

Binod Bihari Chowdhury, the anti-British movement veteran who stepped on the 100th year of his life yesterday, called upon the young generation to become brave hearted and work for the distressed countrymen overcoming cowardice, weakness and selfishness.

PM reaches New Delhi

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, due to meet Indian premier Manmohan Singh today, was given a red carpet reception on her arrival in New Delhi yesterday.

HC starts hearing under new rules

The High Court yesterday started hearing and disposing of the new criminal cases maintaining serials of their filing numbers as per the new Supreme Court rule.

Tension at Proshika as Faruque attempts to return

Tension arose at Proshika Bhaban in Mirpur yesterday as police were deployed in the morning to help former chairman of Proshika Qazi Faruque Ahmed enter the building.

PM to receive Indira Gandhi peace award tomorrow

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is to receive the prestigious Indira Gandhi Peace Prize during a glittering function at the presidential palace in Delhi tomorrow.

Jan 27 set for hearing on charge framing

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed January 27 for hearing on charge framing against former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, her son Tarique Rahman and four others in connection with a case filed for embezzlement of Tk 2.1 crore through forming Zia Orphanage Trust.

Contract signed for 4-lane Dhaka-Ctg highway

The government yesterday signed agreements with three construction companies to turn the Dhaka-Chittagong national highway into four lanes.

Law ministry against presidential pardon

The law ministry yesterday opined that though the President has the prerogative to grant mercy, it would not be judicious to pardon the condemned convicts of the Bangabandhu Murder Case.

India amble into final

India coasted to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in their second meeting of the Idea Cup tri-nation tournament at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. Virat Kohli remained not out on 71 while Gautam Gambhir scored the same number of runs to chase down Sri Lanka's 213-run total with 17.2 overs to spare and 8 wickets in hand.

JS sitting resumes today

The Jatiya Sangsad resumes sitting at 3:00pm today after a six-day recess with the main opposition lawmakers continuing boycott of the House.

Detained denied treatment, division despite court order

Despite a court order three weeks ago, the jail authorities neither provided division status nor proper treatment to ailing freedom fighter Kamrul Islam Swapan detained in connection with a bomb attack on lawmaker Fazle Nur Taposh.

Moeen's plea for dismissal rejected

A Dhaka court yesterday rejected a petition submitted by former army chief General Moeen U Ahmed seeking dismissal of a Tk 100-crore defamation case filed by former state minister for energy Iqbal Hassan Mahmood Tuku.

4 Rajshahi BCL men remanded

The four Bangladesh Chhatra League members arrested in connection with Moitree leader Sunny murder case were taken on a five-day remand yesterday.

Jyoti Basu slightly better

Marxist patriarch Jyoti Basu's health condition was marginally better Sunday though he was still critical and on partial ventilator support. The 95-year-old leader was responding to calls, doctors attending on him said.

Zardari may transfer powers to PM

The Pakistan People's Party has announced that President Asif Ali Zardari will transfer powers to the prime minister the moment the committee working on constitutional package finalises its recommendations.

Iran's nuke facilities 'can be bombed'

A top US military commander responsible for the Middle East and the Gulf region said the United States has developed contingency plans to deal with Iran's nuclear facilities, insisting that they "can be bombed."

US officials tried to hide immigrant abuse

US officials used their role as overseers of the country's immigrant detention centres to cover up evidence of mistreatment and deflect scrutiny by the media, The New York Times reported late Saturday.

Editorial

Bangladesh-Myanmar maritime talks

IT is a good start that the two countries have made in respect of a very sensitive issue, one that had not been addressed in bilateral forum between the two countries for a long time. The last time perhaps after 1986, that the two countries met to discuss the matter, was when the two were facing a standoff in the Bay of Bengal in 2008.

Burnt-down shanties and destroyed shops

A fire which destroyed thirty shanties in South Begunbari of Tejgaon and another which left sixteen shops burnt down in Mirpur on Friday raise the old question of how safe city slums as well as tin-shed business establishments are from such frequent disastrous occurrences. In fact, on a bigger scale, incidents of factories and similar establishments catching fire in recent years have consistently been a matter of concern for all of us. There is a certain frequency to these fires which, of course, are not linked to one another. But consider this: every time a fire burns down shanties (and this happens all too frequently), there are all the legitimate questions which come up about why it happens.

Of austerity measures

EVERY time there is a political change in the country, meaning a change of guard in the government, there are talks of belt tightening to save available resources to be later invested in nation-state building. The idea is indeed praiseworthy and evocative of a noble prospect. Who knows, it may one day provide a lifeline to the nation during the worst times. So, for any newly established dispensation, austerity has become almost a buzzword, even if it is inconsequential on the ground. So, that is what we saw soon after the present government came to power last year. But talks aside little was done on the ground to minimise waste and conserve whatever little resources we have.

Media vs. ministers

THE third US President Thomas Jefferson famously said that he would prefer newspapers without government to a government without newspapers. Our ministers should ponder these words as they bash the media for disseminating news to help people to form opinions.

Sports

Confusion all around

Much of the talk since the start of the Idea Cup has surrounded the high price of tickets and the consequent low turnout in the matches. One thing that was attributed earlier was the cold, but there hasn't been any significant improvement in crowd turnout, except for the matches involving Bangladesh, despite the weather becoming more clement.

Only pride to play for

For a team like Bangladesh it's always important to prove themselves no matter whether the game holds any consequences or not.

Experiment goes awry

Lady Luck once again smiled on Kumar Sangakkara, but the Sri Lankan captain's experiment to bat first backfired as India crushed them by eight wickets on Sunday to confirm the final clash with the same opponents at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on January 13.

NSF and BWF expect better performance

Neither the National Shooting Federation (NSF) nor Bangladesh Weightlifting Federation (BWF) have boldly given any hopes of clinching gold in the upcoming South Asian Games when both the federations declared their squads for the regional extravaganza to be held from January 29 to February 9 in Bangladesh.

Zoran picks 39

New coach Zoran Djordjevic yesterday declared a 39-member preliminary squad for the residential camp for the South Asian Games to be held in Bangladesh from January 29 to February 9.

Ticket prices for Tests slashed

The ticket prices for the Idea Cup 2010 Bangladesh India two-match Test series have been slashed. The ticket price for VIP grandstand has been revised to Tk 500 from Tk 1000, club house from Tk 200 from Tk 300, and special enclosure to Tk 100 from Tk 200, said a press release from Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday.

Shuktara's first win

Shuktara Jubo Sangsad tasted their first triumph of the Bangladesh League when they defeated visitors Chittagong Abahani 1-0 in their third home match at the Osmani Stadium in Narayanganj yesterday.

Razzaq out with injury

Pakistan all-rounder Abdul Razzaq has injured his hand and will be unavailable for the limited-overs leg of the tour of Australia.

Simons India's bowling adviser

The South African presence in the Indian coaching bench has gained further weight after it was revealed that Eric Simons, the former South Africa coach, was appointed bowling consultant for the upcoming Test series against Bangladesh.

MU, Arsenal both held

Premier League leaders Chelsea were the winners on Saturday despite their match being postponed as both their main rivals Manchester United and Arsenal dropped points.

Canales sinks Sevilla

Racing Santander teenager Sergio Canales showed why he is regarded as one of the most exciting prospects in Spain scoring both goals as Racing recorded a third straight win with a 2-1 triumph at Sevilla on Saturday.

Attack overshadows ANC

The African Nations Cup prepared for a subdued start Sunday with the opening game between Angola and Mali overshadowed by a deadly separatist attack on the Togolese team.

Inter break Siena hearts

Champions Inter Milan scored two late goals to stun rock-bottom Siena 4-3 at the San Siro on Saturday to open up an 11-point lead at the top of Serie A.

Fergie's new ref rant

Sir Alex Ferguson may have landed himself in further trouble with the Football Association (FA) after his latest withering assessment of a referee.

SA look to home advantage

South Africa will bank on home advantage finally paying off against England with a pitch that will boost their chances of levelling the series in the final Test at the Wanderers from Thursday. After failing to take the visitors' last wicket at Newlands, South Africa must win to avoid successive home series defeats, following last year's loss to Australia, and are looking for a few favours.

Andy storms to victory

American Andy Roddick held off a magnificent fight-back from Radek Stepanek to claim a thrilling 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (9/7) victory in the final of the Brisbane International on Sunday.

Kamran yes, Kamran no!

In the aftermath of Sydney, confusion. As Pakistan look ahead to the third Test in Hobart that starts on Thursday, contradictory noises are being made over the future of under-fire wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal.

Warne spurred Hussey on

Michael Hussey used Shane Warne's criticism of his batting to drive him to the match-winning century against Pakistan in Sydney last week. Hussey, who stole the game with his unbeaten hundred in the second innings, had heard the calls for his sacking towards the end of the West Indies series before fighting back with 82, 4, 28 and 134 not out in the past two matches.

Business

Analysts urge India to erase trade barriers to Bangladesh

India should act fast to eliminate non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and cut the negative list to help Bangladesh export more to the neighbouring country for reducing the huge trade gap between the two states, experts said yesterday.

DSE turnover sets new record

The single-day turnover on the premier bourse reached a new high of Tk 1,325 crore yesterday, backed by price rallies in the power sector shares that were riding on the prime minister's visit to India and a probable deal on electricity import.

Muhith asks SOBs for pay scale proposals

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday directed the central bank and three state-owned banks (SOBs) to send proposals for separate pay scales to the government.

Committee to plan out for Expatriates Welfare Bank

A three-member committee led by Expatriates Welfare Secretary Ilias Ahmed has been assigned to design modalities for the Expatriates Welfare Bank.

High profile business team off to Delhi

A record 47-member business delegation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's entourage left Dhaka for Delhi yesterday.

Insurance turnover exceeds Tk 6,000cr

Insurance companies performed well last year, beating back the impact of global recession.

China overtakes Germany

China overtook Germany as the world's top exporter after December exports jumped 17.7 percent for their first increase in 14 months, data showed Sunday, in another sign of China's rise as a global economic force.

Indian firms set to report rising profits

Indian firms are expected to announce a sharp rise in profits when the quarterly reporting season kicks off this week, aided by improving business and a low base from the depths of the financial crisis.

Corporate Briefs

ICB ISLAMIC MUTUAL FUND
At the close of operation on January 5, the fund declared NAV of Tk 293.61 per unit on the basis of current market price and Tk 222.01 on the basis of cost price against face value of Tk 100.

Romania hopes for recovery in 2010

Among the European countries worst hit by the global slump, Romania sets out in 2010 in slightly better shape -- a new government is in place, an aid deal with the IMF could be revitalised and growth may return.

Mahathir backs relocation of some industries to Bangladesh

Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad has urged Malaysian entrepreneurs to relocate their labour-intensive sunset industries to Bangladesh for the mutual benefits of both nations.

China orders steps aimed at property market stability

China ordered vigilance against foreign "hot money" flows and speculative real estate investment on Sunday in its latest expression of concern over a surging property market.

Deal signed to ensure eco-correct apparel

Two Bangladeshi garment associations and SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) have recently entered into a tripartite agreement to develop the capacity of the associations in environmental issues.

Britain to shrug off economic chill: Analysts

The British economy, forecast to emerge soon from recession, will likely shrug off the most brutal winter in decades as many Britons simply delay purchases and work from home to beat the big freeze.

REHAB fair clocks up Tk 1,083cr in orders

The REHAB fair has clocked up Tk 1,083 crore in bookings, organisers said yesterday.

BTCL gets speed from rural links

State-run landline operator BTCL added more than one lakh customers in the three months after it announced free connections at upazila levels in July 2009.

Taiwan's high-speed rail firm secures $12b loan

Taiwan's debt-ridden high-speed rail company has secured 12 billion US dollars in new funding as part of efforts to pay off earlier loans, an executive said Sunday.

JAL won't forge capital tie-up with US carrier

Troubled Japan Airlines (JAL) is unlikely to form a capital tie-up with a US carrier and will limit the partnership to a business tie-up for now, an economic daily reported Sunday.

Venezuelans clamour to buy goods after devaluation

Thousands of Venezuelans descended on local shops Saturday, hoping to buy imported goods before a currency devaluation ordered by President Hugo Chavez ramps up prices.

Financial sector 'much better' but still fragile, says expert

The Financial Stability Board said Saturday the situation in the financial sector had improved but remained still very fragile.

Metropolitan

AUW contributing to empowering women

Cherie Blair, wife of former British prime minister Tony Blair and a leading human rights activist, yesterday said she was impressed by the efforts of the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Bangladesh, which she found has contributed to empowering women who otherwise would have no future.

Bangladesh, India agree to enhance cooperation

Bangladesh and India yesterday agreed to enhance cooperation in disaster management by sharing information and reaching out to the people affected by calamities.

PM's visit to strengthen relations with India

Workers Party leaders yesterday hoped that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India would help strengthen the friendly relationship between the two countries.

Call for initiative to protect rights of working children

Speakers at a press conference yesterday underscored the need for taking an initiative to protect the children engaged in domestic work from being deprived of their rights and exploited economically.

Vow to build non-communal, prosperous Bangladesh

The nation yesterday observed the historic homecoming day of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman with due respect amid fresh vow to build a non-communal, democratic and prosperous Bangladesh.

Rokeya was social philosopher

Begum Rokeya was the greatest female social philosopher of her time, journalist and columnist Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury said yesterday.

Repeal ban on notebooks

Bangladesh Book Publishers and Sellers Association yesterday submitted a memorandum to deputy commissioner (DC) of Dhaka demanding immediate repeal of the law that imposed a ban on printing, publishing, import, distribution and sale of notebooks as well as guidebooks for primary and secondary school students.

Contempt petition against 5 govt officials

A contempt of court petition was filed yesterday with the High Court (HC) against four government officials and a former official on charges of violating the court order.

Crisis likely if PM's visit fails: Delwar

Wishing Sheikh Hasina's visit to India a success, BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said crisis will be intensified if the prime minister's visit is failed.

Make wealth statement public

Citizens' Rights Movement at a human chain yesterday urged the judges of the High Court to make their wealth statement public to ensure transparency in the judiciary.

Govt treating BNP the way the CG did

BNP leader Moudud Ahmed yesterday said there is no difference between the present government and the previous caretaker government in terms of attitude towards the BNP.

Women rescuers

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury at a book launching ceremony yesterday said women have always played the role of rescuers during any political crisis in the country.

Course on public relations begins at BIJEM

A two-week training course 'Modern Techniques of Public Relations and Communication' organised by Bangladesh Institute of Journalism and Electronic Media (BIJEM) began at the institute yesterday, says a press release.

10 killed in road crashes

At least 10 people were killed and 20 others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Savar, Chittagong, Bogra and Gaibandha yesterday.

Plan to develop Cox's Bazar, Kuakata as tourist spots of global standards

Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism GM Qader yesterday said the government is preparing two separate master plans for Cox's Bazar and Kuakata to develop them as highly attractive tourist spots of global standards.

Training of business journalism trainers ends

A core group of trainers on business journalism has been developed under a non-government initiative aiming at long-term capacity development of the media houses, says a press release.

Non-formal education to eradicate illiteracy stressed

Training officials to undertake an effective non-formal education programme through proper analysis of policy guideline will ultimately help eradicate illiteracy from the country once for all, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.

BBA programme of BUP launched

The responsibility of the students is to prepare themselves through higher education and contribute to the nation from their respective position, Adviser to the Prime Minister Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique said yesterday.

Change in lower judiciary

The government in consultation with the Supreme Court has made another reshuffle at the Dhaka District and Sessions Judge level.

'Pay pvt school teachers as per new pay scale'

Workers Party of Bangladesh (WPB) yesterday urged the private schools, colleges and madrasas to pay their teachers according to the new pay scale.

SCF memo to edn minister

Samajtantrik Chhatra Front (SCF) submitted a memorandum to the education minister yesterday demanding regular holding of classes, separate examination halls and sufficient classrooms at colleges under the National University.

National

Most fertiliser retailers yet to be appointed in Rangpur

Over 50 percent fertiliser retailers could not be appointed at ward level in Rangpur due to interference from different quarters, causing much suffering to potato growers.

Keshabpur wildlife in danger as forests shrinking fast

Wildlife in Keshabpur upazila of Jessore district is decreasing fast as forestlands in the area see a gradual depletion, causing the animals and birds suffer from food crisis and loss of habitat.

Shibir's 'model admission test' at govt college

Islami Chhatra Shibir has conducted a model admission test using the classrooms of Moulvibazar Government College without permission from the college authorities.

Memo to PM demanding gas link to C'nawabganj

Chapainawabganj Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday formed a human chain in front of the deputy commissioner's office and submitted a memorandum to the prime minister through the deputy commissioner demanding installation of pipeline to supply gas to the district.

Seven firearms seized in Ctg, Cox's Bazar

Members of Rapid Action Battalion in separate drives recovered seven firearms and ammunition from Anwara upazila in Chittagong and Moheshkhali in Cox's Bazar on Saturday night and yesterday.

Barapukuria miners threaten strike for profit bonus

Underground miners of Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) yesterday warned of an indefinite strike from January 21 if they are not given profit bonus 'pledged' by the authorities.

Toxic medicine kills patient, 'doctor'

A patient died after taking an ayurvedic medicine prepared by a local practitioner in Tarash upazila of Sirajganj district on Friday night while the latter borrowed the same fate the next morning.

20 including 3 cops hurt in Cox's Bazar

At least 20 people including three policemen were injured in a clash between police and mob over a trifling matter at Gorokghata Bazar under Moheshkhali municipality in Cox's Bazar yesterday.

Mobile court fines two shops at Feni

A mobile court here yesterday realised a fine of Tk 35,000 from the owners of a hotel and a sweetmeat shop for doing business in an unhygienic condition.

Prisoner dies at KMCH

A convicted prisoner, who was sentenced to five years imprisonment in a drug case, died at Khulna Medical College and Hospital (KMCH) on Saturday.

Mob gouge out eyes of pirate gang leader

An angry mob gouged out both the eyes of a pirate gang leader and gave him a good beating at Khuriakhali village adjacent to the Sundarbans in Sharankhola upazila of the district yesterday morning.

Chhatra Moitree demands arrest of Sunny's killers

Chhatra Moitree Rajshahi University (RU) unit yesterday staged demonstration on the campus demanding immediate arrest of the killers of Rezanul Islam Chowdhury Sunny.

Mongla mayor sent to jail on graft charges

A Bagerhat court yesterday sent Mongla municipal mayor and a councillor to jail in two corruption cases.

Touchstone statue recovered

Police on Friday recovered a touchstone statue worth Tk 1 crore from Kanaikashindi village in Dhamoirhat upazila.

Booksellers observe strike

At least 45 bookstalls of eight upazilas in Khagrachhari district remained closed from 6 am to 4 pm yesterday protesting government decision to ban sale of notebooks.

Ex-UP chairman held on forgery charge

A former union parishad chairman was arrested on forgery charge in Sadar upazila of Khagrachhari district on Saturday.

Smooth power supply during Irri-boro season demanded

Bangladesh Krishak Samity, farmers wing of Communist Party of Bangladesh(CPB), Thakurgaon unit at a rally here yesterday demanded uninterrupted electricity supply during IRRI-Boro season.

Letters

Copenhagen Summit

The 193-nation Climate Summit only pledged to limit emission level by less than 2ºC but failed to reach consensus to forge a legally binding treaty to achieve that goal. The biggest five polluters namely, the United States, China, India, Brazil & South Africa apart, the rest of the world vented total frustration on the outcome. President Obama, himself on the sideline, gestured his ire, yet he appraised the outcome as a good beginning. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has been able to successfully project and showcase the catastrophic effect of climate change on non-player countries with no fault of theirs.

Textbooks

The education minister, Nurul Islam Nahid, has kept his word in fulfilling his government's commitment --distributing textbooks among most of the madrasa and school students on the opening day of the new academic year. We think and, strongly, believe that if the government is serious and sincere, it can succeed under difficult and even hostile circumstances.

Tourism

Bangladesh is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There are five hundred tourist spots in this small country, most of which are natural. But it is a matter of great regret that we still lag behind in the field of tourism. We are still indifferent and careless in preserving those beautiful places. Another surprising matter is that hundreds of spots are still unknown to the people of Bangladesh. Hence, how can we attract the tourists from abroad to these unknown spots? However, the topmost tourist spots of Bangladesh, which the whole world knows, are the Sundarbans and the sea-beach of Cox's Bazar. Besides, another prospective spot is Saint Martin's, the coral island. But only for lack of care the biodiversity of this island is being ruined. In the meantime, approximately 200 species of birds, many marine creatures, fishes and different types of snails and oysters have been lost. Due to the polythene and human waste, the coral stones, which are the amulet of this island, are dying gradually. Inani, Kuakata, Parki, Patenga, Sonaichari of Sitakunda are being neglected year after year.

Anti-India or pro-Pakistan?

We know that in our country some political groups incessantly engage in blatant anti-Indian propaganda. We must be aware of the fact that “Anti-Indian political sentiment” can easily be translated into “Pro-Pakistan political sentiment”. Interestingly, the terms “Anti-Indian” and “Pro-Pakistan” often prove to be synonymous and we must try to investigate whether these political parties are actually “Anti-Indian” or “Pro-Pakistan”.

Mobile phone inside mosques

Breaking the serene atmosphere of mosques with grating ring tones is a common occurrence these days. It is an obvious lack of respect towards fellow devotees who find it very difficult to concentrate. It is very common to hear at least one ring tone during the course of prayers and they are not only loud but also very cacophonic.

Primary education

The educational arrangement in Bangladesh is three-tiered as well as very subsidized. Existing government projects in Bangladesh have obligatory primary schooling for all, free of charge education for girls up to grade 10, stipends for female students, a countrywide incorporated education system along with a food-for-education literacy movement. A big segment of the country's national budget is reserved to facilitate these programmes into act and to encourage education and make it more available. Current years have seen these hard works pay off and the Bangladesh education structure strides in front of what it were only a few years ago.

Our mistakes

Today we are facing a serious threat to ourselves for not being law-abiding. It is a most common and most noticeable matter that we do not follow traffic rules and car parking codes, that is why we are not able to exempt ourselves from unendurable traffic congestion which has now become a big challenge for city dwellers, especially in Dhaka.

Threat of movement

Media in Dhaka report that Begum Khaleda Zia has threatened to launch a country-wide agitation programme if this govt signs any anti-state agreement with a neighbouring country. She has hinted at, among others, transit to India, Tipaimukh barrage, water sharing deals etc. We object to her early warning because she is not participating in any process of drafting of agenda that would be carried by the prime minister during her visit to India. We feel she is also not sincere in her talks and thoughts. Had she been sincere, she should have joined parliament just a few days before the state visit of the prime minister and could have raised clauses that she wanted to include or delete from the agreements expected to be signed during the visit. We have a lot of disputed issues with this big neighbour which need to be resolved through mutual agreements for our bigger interest than the interest of neighbours who are already enjoying more benefits than us.

Arms trade

The arms trade is a major cause of human rights abuses. Some governments spend more on military expenditure than on social development, communications infrastructure and health combined. While every nation has the right and the need to ensure its security, in these changing times, arms requirements and procurement processes should also undergo change.

Import green cars

The government must start import of green environment friendly cars as soon as possible in order to save our fast deteriorating land from global warming and pollution. The government should also vastly reduce taxes on such cars and make them affordable to everyone.

Security arrangement at embassy

The report of deployment of Indian special security forces in the High Commission premises has been made an issue by BNP leaders without ascertaining whether this is allowed under the Geneva Conventions. They have two ex-foreign secretaries in the party as advisors. Therefore, they could find out the real position in this regard. But, instead, they raised the bogey of our sovereignty being threatened and so on!

Militants coming back!

A few years back, the people of Bangladesh sighed a relief watching the trial of Bangla bhai like militants. They committed atrocities across the country for a long time, and at long last their death sentence brought a message of peace to all.

The eagle

Like the old eagle that had been chained so long to a stake in the ground that he'd worn a rut in the ground from walking round and round. When his master finally decided to liberate and set him free, he took the metal ring off and tossed the eagle up into the air. But it just flip-flopped right back down to the ground, walked back over to the old rut and started walking around the rut again! -- No chain. No bird band. Just the old habit!

Buying power from India!

This news item was published in almost all daily newspapers on the last day of the last year. But the reality which we will see is that it will remain only news, and not a reality! After all there are "many a slips between the cup and the lips". In this case, India holding the cup, there will be many slips with nothing to be sipped by us! From MoU to MoT (moment of truth), there is a long way. It is more like travelling from here to eternity!

Great recognition

Fazle Hasan Abed is to be knighted for alleviating poverty at home and abroad. He is to be knighted as the second Bangladeshi. We have a negative image all over the globe and that's why we can't brand our country. Nevertheless, our achievements are remarkable. These achievements will assist us to make Bangladesh a brand which would be a blessing to our country. Our government needs to take a lesson from those people to enhance our goodwill all over the world.

Women's contribution

Women are a major part of our total population. They are working in various sectors and contributing a lot to the development of the country. Nearly 90% of garment workers are women who are doing the jobs of spinning, knitting etc with skill and devotion. In educational institutions, women have been contributing a lot.

Begum Zia's stand

My sincere thanks to The Daily Star and its editorial board for publishing an editorial on January 3, 2010 entitled “Begum Zia must not prejudge Delhi outcome. She ought to raise such issues in parliament.” It appears our political leaders will never behave responsibly.

International

Britain never held any secret talks with Taliban: Miliband

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband has rejected claims that he held secret talks with the Afghan Taliban leadership, saying that the United Kingdom has never negotiated with any militant group.

Delay in aid dispensation could disrupt war on terror: Zardari

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has warned that delay in the dispensation of international aid could force Pakistan to cut development spending, which in turn could be a "setback for the war on terror."

BSF steps up vigil to foil Kashmir infiltration

The Border Security Force (BSF) has reinforced the night patrolling along the India-Pakistan border in Kashmir Valley to foil infiltration bid by terror groups.

Gunmen fire at Pak minister's vehicle, driver killed

The driver of a provincial minister was killed when unidentified gunmen fired at his official vehicle in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, police have said.

Lanka sets free over 700 ex-LTTE cadres

Sri Lanka on Saturday released more than 700 former Tamil Tiger fighters from military custody following a rehabilitation programme, an official said.

Terror threat to 10 Indian scientists

Security around 10 Indian scientists working in sensitive areas has been tightened in the wake of threats from Pakistan-based terror groups like Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT).

Afghans losing hope after 8 years of war

The man on the motorcycle was going the wrong way down a one-way street, gesturing indignantly for the phalanx of traffic-clogged cars in front of him to move.

India didn't know about Pak nuke for 14 years: AQ Khan

Pakistan's nuclear scientist Dr AQ Khan has revealed that 13-14 years after Pakistan acquired a nuclear bomb, India had no clue about Pakistan's nuclear power.

Sanjay Dutt resigns as SP general secretary

Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt has resigned as the general secretary of Samajwadi Party (SP).

Yemen ready to talk to Qaeda if they disarm

Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh said he is open to dialogue with al-Qaeda militants, as a top official warned that dozens of foreign Jihadis are grouping in a remote part of the impoverished country.

Israel trashes implicit US financial pressure

Israel yesterday dismissed an implicit threat by a top US official to apply financial pressure on its close ally in order to advance peace talks.

Russia kills two 'militant chiefs' in Dagestan

Russian security forces have killed two leading local Islamist militants in clashes in the violent southern Caucasus region of Dagestan, officials said yesterday.

Britons concerned over rise of Muslims

A major study conducted by Britain's National Centre for Social Research has found that only a quarter of the locals feel positive towards Muslims.

Blast kills British journalist in Afghanistan

A British journalist was killed and another seriously injured in an explosion in Afghanistan, which happened when they were embedded with US marines, Britain's Ministry of Defence said Sunday.

Moon may get nuclear energy

Reports indicate that Nasa engineers are working on an ultra-compact nuclear power plant for the Moon that should generate enough electricity to run a house, or a lunar exploration base.

Brother of UAE president acquitted in torture trial

An Emirati court on Sunday acquitted Sheikh Issa bin Zayed, the brother of the United Arab Emirates president, of charges of torturing an Afghan citizen, his lawyer told AFP.

Europe freeze strands travellers, cuts power

The Arctic freeze that has stricken Europe left hundreds of people stuck in vehicles in deep snow or stranded at airports with scores more flights cancelled and power cuts to thousands of homes yesterday.

US lawmakers to take up airport security

Boosted airport security measures will be at the top of US lawmakers' agenda when they return to Congress next week, amid intelligence failures exposed by the botched Christmas Day attack.

Arts & Entertainment

A glimpse of India through the eyes of BUET students

A photography exhibition titled “ India: Plural” was held recently at Drik Gallery. The works on display were the collection of 17 photographers, all third year students of BUET.

Rabindra melody stirs souls in Sylhet . . .

A two-day district conference and cultural festival organised by the Jatiya Rabindra Sangeet Sammilan Parishad ended in Sylhet Friday night.

Towards a greener city

The Uttara Cultural Society (UCS) held a day long programme recently to generate awareness on the conservation of the environment. The programme began around 10.30 am with a children's art competition, judged by professors from Shanta Mariam University.

Reenat Fauzia: A passionate sitar player

Reenat Fauzia is one of the noted sitar players of our country. She has been playing sitar for over 25 years now. Fauzia's first CD titled “A Touch of Love” was released in 2004. “I think that was the first CD on sitar in our country. The CD gave me much popularity and people began coming to me to learn the sitar.”

Premiere of new TV serial “FnF” held

Beginning from January 17 a new drama serial FnF (Friends n Family) will be aired on ntv, says a press release. The serial will be aired on Sundays and Mondays at 9:40 pm.

A clarion call for more programmes for indigenous people

Cultural activists, including indigenous people, from Khagrachhari Hill Tracts recently observed the 27th year of BTV programme “Lok Lokaloy”. Amidst festivities, they called for the protection of their rights and culture through more such programmes that would also acquaint people with the lives of the indigenous communities.

Cultural programme in Magura

On the night of January 9, Shahitik Kalyan Parishad (an organisation for welfare of littérateurs) in Magura held a captivating cultural programme in the Asaduzzaman auditorium to celebrate its third anniversary.



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