The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, September 18, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 13th of January, 2010

Front Page

New era of cooperation opens

In a move to build a forward looking relationship, Bangladesh and India have agreed to boost cooperation in a wide range of fields like security, power, trade, connectivity, water sharing, and resolution of other long-standing bilateral issues and concerns.

Govt scraps lease of 59 plots

The government yesterday cancelled the lease of 59 plots on about 60 acres of land in the Hotel-Motel Zone of Cox's Bazar sea beach allocated during the last BNP-Jamaat alliance government's rule.

Hasina invites Indian investment

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday made a strong pitch for greater duty-free access for goods from Bangladesh to Indian market and invited Indian investment in her country.

Be more generous to neighbours

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said here yesterday India should be "more generous" in dealing with neighbours, and described her visit as "very fruitful".

PM's visit a 'total failure'

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain said yesterday Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to India is a 'total failure' since Bangladesh gained nothing from this trip.

India to help build power plants

India yesterday offered assistance for Bangladesh's power sector that includes plans to build coal-fired power plants in Chittagong and Khulna.

Bangladesh set to miss deadline

Bangladesh's chance of meeting the international deadline to introduce machine-readable passport (MRP) and machine-readable visa (MRV) on April 1, 2010 looks bleak as the government is yet to choose a company for implementing the project.

Proshika staff barred from entering office

At least 300 staff of Proshika, a non-government organisation (NGO), could not enter their headquarters in Mirpur, as its former chairman with his hired men allegedly took control of the building Monday night.

More chiller on way as mercury dips to 3yr low

As another cold wave grips most parts of the country, the lowest winter temperature in three years was recorded yesterday in Srimangal.

Ctg port paralysed for seven hours

Workers of Dock Sramik Oikya Parishad laid a siege to Chittagong port yesterday, disrupting handling of bulk cargo for seven hours.

Wide coverage in Indian media

Most leading Indian newspapers yesterday termed Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's visit to that country an "opportunity to overhaul underutilised" bilateral relations on grounds of equality and mutual interest.

PM receives Indira Gandhi peace award

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday received the prestigious Indira Gandhi award for peace and development vowing to rid the country of the scourge of terrorism and ensure a broad spectrum of socio-economic development.

India for fast rail upgrade for Bangladesh

New Delhi yesterday assured Dhaka of speedy implementation of projects on rail infrastructure upgrade in Bangladesh.

BNP sits today to discuss JS strategy

The BNP Parliamentary Party (BNPPP) sits today with Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia in the chair to discuss if they should return to the House.

Charges pressed against JMB men in Nilphamari

Police pressed charges against 30 members of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh at a Nilphamari court in a case filed in connection with conspiring to keep people away from the December 29, 2008 parliamentary elections.

Govt seeks quick hearing on review petitions

The government yesterday filed an application with the Supreme Court for expeditious hearing of the two review petitions against the apex court's verdict confirming death sentences in Bangabandhu murder case.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout'

An alleged criminal was killed in a 'shootout' between his cohorts and Rapid Action Battalion at Old Kochukheth Bazar in city's Kafrul early yesterday.

India, SL fight for Idea Cup today

India and Sri Lanka will lock horns in the final of the Idea Cup tri-nation series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.

6 killed in Magura bus plunge

At least six people were killed and 30 others were injured as a bus plunged into a roadside ditch at Ramnagar area on Magura-Jhenidah highway yesterday evening.

AL to accord reception to PM on return

Ruling Awami League will accord a grand reception to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Zia International Airport today for playing bold role to boost up relationship with India, establish peace in South Asia and upholding the country's interest.

Top woman outlaw held in Kushtia

A woman activist of outlawed Gano Mukti Fouj in Kushtia was arrested yesterday.

BSF kills 1

A Bangladeshi cattle trader was shot dead by Indian Border Security Force along Daulatpur border here early yesterday.

HC benches reconstituted

Chief Justice Md Tafazzul Islam yesterday reconstituted 15 High Court benches, changing their jurisdictions for hearing and disposing of cases.

13 Afghans killed in missile attack

International forces' missile kills 13 insurgents in southern Afghanistan, Nato said yesterday.

Taliban storm Pak army post, kill 1

Dozens of Taliban insurgents stormed a Pakistani military post in a tribal town near the Afghan border yesterday, killing one paramilitary soldier and wounding three others, officials said.

Did ISI have a hand in attack on CIA base?

A US strategic think tank has discounted "widespread rumours in the United States" that Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency had a hand in the December 30 attack in Khost, Afghanistan that killed several CIA agents. The possibility that Jihadi sympathisers in the lower ranks of the Pakistani intelligence complex may have offered their services to the Taliban cannot be ruled out, the think tank said.

Pakistan backing infiltration

In a toughening of stance towards Pakistan, Defence Minister AK Antony yesterday charged the neighbouring country with backing infiltrators and their plans to cause disruption in Jammu and Kashmir.

Editorial

Delhi summit a sign of productive bilateralism

ON balance, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's official visit to India can be characterised as an exercise in productive bilateralism. A crucial point here is that the visit, the first for a Bangladesh leader in a long number of years, has provided the heads of government of Bangladesh and India with the opportunity to engage in summitry to review the ties between the two countries. There is hardly any question that these ties have in recent years often been marked by acrimony generated by a number of issues affecting especially Bangladesh. Issues such as trade, transit, water-sharing and suspicions on the harbouring of criminal and even terrorist elements in each other's territory have created quite a few barriers in the way of cooperation between the two nations.

The familiar ADP implementation pattern

DESPITE the elected government's seriousness early in the day to push ADP implementation from the very beginning of the financial year which has been traditionally marked by a long-drawn-out warm-up phase, not much of a momentum has been generated this time in terms of utilisation of development allocations. Unfortunately the first six months have seen only 28 percent utilisation of the total ADP allocation. Resultantly, the government is faced with an impossible task of spending remainder 72 percent of the allocated resources.

Looking back at those times

THREE years ago this month, to the relief of the people of Bangladesh, the caretaker cabal led by Iajuddin Ahmed was pushed from office through a proclamation of emergency. What then transpired was simple historical necessity brought about through the rise of a new administration that quickly went into the business of setting things back in order.

Dhaka-Yangon maritime boundary talks

IT is a good news that during the recent meeting (January 8 and 9) in Dhaka, the delegations from Bangladesh and Myanmar were able to agree on the method of delimitation of sea boundary.

New jute policy needed

JUTE was the largest foreign exchange earner for Pakistan during 1947-71. It played a major role in industrialisation. Even after the liberation of Bangladesh it remained as the biggest foreign exchange earner till early '80s.

Sports

Will India smile again?

India will be looking to maintain their supremacy in major tournaments over Sri Lanka when the teams meet in the final of the Idea Cup at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur today.

Will Kumar call the coin correctly once more?

Who are the favourites in today's final of the Idea Cup tri-nation tournament? The answer will be: 'Win the toss and win the match'. It has been the case so far in the tournament where the team winning the toss and opting to chase under lights took full advantage of the dew factor to chase down any target.

Boxers happy at home

The success of Bangladesh boxers has been few and far between in the South Asian Games. They have won only two gold medals in the regional sporting extravaganza and that too on home soil. And this might be a good reason for Bangladesh Amateur Boxing Federation to dream of winning gold when the 11th edition of SA Games begins here on January 29.

U-19s defeat Aussies too

The young Tigers kept up their good form in New Zealand before the start of the International Cricket Council U-19 World Cup as they beat Australia by 20 runs in their second and last warm up match at the Elmwood Park in Christchurch yesterday.

The unsung hero

The Idea Cup tri-nation was a tournament for Mahmudullah Riyad to provide a glimpse of how reliable he could be as a batsman for the team. He looked average with his ordinary spin as well as in the late order batting since he made his one-day international debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo in July 2007 and his few sporadic innings could hardly catch the eyes of the fans or the cricket pundits. But with the performances in the tri-nation tournament the stylish cricketer gave an impression that he has improved a lot to cement his place in the team; if it is not as an all-rounder then definitely as a batsman.

Sachin comes here today

Master India batsman Sachin Tendulkar arrives here today to join the team for the two-match Test series against Bangladesh.

Tevez fires City

Carlos Tevez scored a hattrick as Manchester City moved up into fourth place in the English Premier League table with a 4-1 win over Blackburn Rovers at Eastlands here on Monday.

Kaka prefers Spain

Brazilian international striker Kaka, who joined Real Madrid from AC Milan in June, said on Tuesday he enjoys playing in Spain more than in Italy because the football played here is "technically richer".

Malawi stun Algeria

The form book was shredded on day two at the Africa Cup of Nations as Algeria crashed to minnows Malawi and favourites Ivory Coast stuttered against Burkina Faso.

MU owe C'Ron one

Only Cristiano Ronaldo's world record transfer prevented Manchester United making an annual loss of more than 30 million pounds, figures released by the English Premier League champions showed on Monday.

Jordaan slams Angola

Angola knew for years that staging Africa's premier football tournament in the restive enclave of Cabinda posed a security risk, South Africa's World Cup organising chief said Tuesday.

Atletico snap up Salvio

Atletico Madrid, looking to recover from a dismal first half of the season, have signed 19-year-old striker Eduardo Salvio from Argentine side Lanus for 8million euros, Spanish media said Tuesday.

Mourinho to face charge

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho looks set to face a penalty for insulting a journalist after the Football League referred his case to the sporting justice disciplinary committee.

Real lose Higuain

Real Madrid's Argentine international striker Gonzalo Higuain has suffered a tear in his left calf muscle and will be sidelined for three weeks, the club said on Tuesday.

Inamoto on the move

Japanese international midfielder Junichi Inamoto looks set to join his eighth club since 2001 with a move to J-League side Kawasaki Frontale from French First Division outfit Rennes.

Lavezzi out for a month

Argentina forward Ezequiel Lavezzi will be out for at least a month after suffering a thigh injury against Sampdoria on Sunday, his club Napoli said on Monday.

Sarfraz, not Kamran

After days of confusion, Intikhab Alam has put an emphatic end to speculation surrounding Pakistan's wicketkeeping spot, saying that there is "no doubt" Sarfraz Ahmed will play as the wicketkeeper in Kamran Akmal's place in the third Test in Hobart starting on Thursday.

Zoran journey on

Serbian coach Zoran Djordjevic has advised the players to feel free to let him and his coaching staff to know the problems they will face during the South Asian football event camp at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan in Savar.

Johnson's loving it

Away from the limelight, Mitchell Johnson has quietly worked his way back from the horrors of the Ashes last year into something resembling his best form. He is no longer Australia's opening bowler, but a new role at first-change has brought considerable success.

Ian's views on India

Former Australian captain and leading commentator Ian Chappell has said India don't have the resources to retain their No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings for a long enough period to emulate Australia and the great West Indies teams of the past.

Prior readies himself

One of the key challenges that England will have to confront as they aim to secure a series victory against South Africa won't actually come from the home side, but rather the geographical location of the Wanderers. The stadium is 6,000 feet above sea level which creates a unique atmosphere -- or lack of it -- for the players.

School cricket

Narial Govt. High School trounced Poura Secondary High School by 121 runs in the Standard Chartered Young Tigers U-16 National Cricket Tournament at the Nur Mohammad stadium yesterday. Batting first Narial posted 279 in 50 overs losing 8 wickets. Mostafizur Rahman Rony top scored with 102. Biplob snared 4 wickets for Poura. In reply Poura were bundled out for 158 in 32.3 overs. Hasibur Rahman Mizan claimed 3 wickets for Narial.

Blignaut on comeback

Another former Zimbabwe international is trying to make a comeback according to the Independent newspaper.

Cruel!

India's newly-appointed bowling consultant Eric Simons said it was strange that his first big assignment with the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side was against his own country South Africa.

Business

SEC pores over 'flawed indexing' info

Two bourses followed apparently flawed computations for Grameenphone shares in November, despite clear instructions from the market regulator to follow a standard indexing method.

Dhaka yet to utilise zero tariff benefit from rich world

The country has so far hardly made use of the zero tariff benefit offered by different advanced countries, as exports to the rich world show no signs of a rise.

Marico to launch Kaya in Dhaka

Marico Bangladesh Ltd (MBL) is set to expand its horizon by opening its premium skin care salon, Kaya Skin Clinic, which is set to start commercial operations on January 18.

Investment to be raised to 30pc of GDP: Minister

The government has planned to raise investment rate to 30.32 percent of the gross domestic product to take GDP growth to 8 percent by 2013, Finance Minister AMA Muhith told parliament yesterday.

Govt to let more companies into long-distance call services

The government has moved to amend a long-distance telecom policy to award licences to more private companies to operate the services of international gateway (IGW), inter-connection exchange (ICX) and international internet gateway (IIG).

Muhith backs rural habitation to cut poverty

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday advocated building 'rural habitation centres' across Bangladesh, aiming to alleviate poverty and reduce dependency on Dhaka.

Garment tech fair starts today

A four-day garment technology fair starts at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka today.

JS body suggests listing of ICB firms on bourses

A parliamentary body has asked the Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) to immediately list its three subsidiary companies on bourses.

BB chief sees sluggish investment as major challenge to growth

When economists identify inflation as the immediate concern for economic stability, Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Atiur Rahman sees investment as the major challenge to economic growth.

Obama considers levy for rescued firms

Targeting an industry whose political deafness has vexed his administration, President Barack Obama is weighing recovering tax dollars from government-rescued financial institutions with a levy.

Kuwait says oil prices 'fantastic'

Kuwait's Oil Minister Sheikh Ahmad Abdullah al-Sabah said on Tuesday that the price of crude oil was "fantastic," as it stayed above 82 dollars a barrel spurred by freezing temperatures.

Incoming EU trade chief sees WTO deal by 2011

Would-be new European trade chief Karel De Gucht expressed confidence on Tuesday that a deal to free up international commerce is attainable by next year.

Tiger Airways advances aircraft delivery

Singapore budget carrier Tiger Airways said Tuesday it ha brought forward the delivery of five Airbus A320 aircraft to boost its expansion into Asia and Australia.

Euro slips

The euro slid against the dollar on Tuesday as many traders took profits after the European single currency had soared close to a one-month peak on the back of positive Chinese data, dealers said.

JAL flies into turbulence

Asia's largest carrier Japan Airlines has hit major turbulence in recent years as the mammoth company repeatedly miscalculated tougher business climates.

US banks brace for firestorm

Major US banks are gearing up to announce annual bonuses for top executives while bracing for a political firestorm over compensation practices that critics say fueled the global financial crisis.

Asian shares mixed

Asian markets were mixed Tuesday with Tokyo clawing its way into the black after shrugging off a wave of selling orders that engulfed crisis-hit Japan Airlines.

Oil under $82

The price of crude oil dropped under 82 dollars Tuesday on expectations of easing heating fuel demand as warmer temperatures reach parts of the United States recently hit by a cold snap, traders said.

India's Infosys beats estimates despite Q3 profit drop

India's second largest software exporter Infosys posted Tuesday a smaller-than-expected fall in net profit due to fresh overseas business and predicted strong future growth.

Cadbury says Kraft takeover bid 'unappealing'

British candy maker Cadbury PLC on Tuesday stepped up its defence against a hostile takeover bid from Kraft Foods Inc. by announcing that both its full-year revenue growth and profit margins will beat market expectations.

Nissan aims to expand in US, boost image with electric Leaf

Nissan hopes to take advantage of a weakened Detroit to grow its share of the US market with a host of new products including a high-profile electric car, the Japanese automaker's top US executive said.

Carbon tax wrong way to tackle climate: EU trade chief-to-be

Incoming European Union trade chief Karel De Gucht on Tuesday ruled out pursuing French-led calls to impose a carbon tax at the EU's borders, warning that such ideas risk triggering trade wars.

Metropolitan

Police dept wants control of choppers

All the units of the police department want that the two helicopters which are being procured for the Rapid Action Battalion should be under the control of the Bangladesh Police, instead of Rab, a unit of the police department.

Full text of jt communiqué

Following is the full text of the joint communiqué issued on the visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India:

RMG workers assault officials in Gazipur

Agitated workers of Jahin Textiles of Givenchy Group assaulted five officials yesterday protesting cut in price rate per piece ready-made garment that the workers get.

Shishu Park refurbishment plan shelved

Even after five years of sitting on a project to refurbish Shaheed Zia Shishu Park, hugely popular among both children and adults, Dhaka City Corporation (DCC), the responsible authority for its monitoring as well as maintenance, has finally said the project is 'dead'.

'Proposed pvt varsity bill outdated'

The Association of Private Universities of Bangladesh (APUB) yesterday called on the government to stop further processing of the proposed Private University Bill 2009, saying that the opportunity of higher education will be stifled if the bill is passed.

Code of conduct for employers soon: Shirin

The government is taking an initiative to formulate a code of conduct for the employers of child workers with a view to protecting their rights.

DU Alumni Assoc 3rd reunion Jan 16

The third reunion of Dhaka University Alumni Association (DUAA) will be held on Dhaka University (DU) campus on January 16.

Call for effective steps to curb tobacco use

Speakers at a workshop yesterday underscored the need for taking effective measures to control use of tobacco products to save huge amount of people's funds and protect users from health hazards.

Protest today

Bangladesh Chhatra Moitree, a left-leaning student organisation, will form human chains in front of press clubs across the country today demanding punishment to the killers of Rezwanul Islam Chowdhury Sunny, a leader of the organisation.

8 killed in road accidents

At least eight people were killed and 30 others injured in separate road accidents in Bogra, Tangail, Jessore and Satkhira yesterday.

Deputy secy, wife beaten up by armed criminals

A gang of armed criminals beat up a senior deputy secretary, his wife and two daughters severely with rods after storming his residence at Azimpur Govt Staff Quarters in the city yesterday.

Two hybrid varieties to boost cotton output

The government has taken an initiative to boost fibre cotton production in the country by introducing hybrid cotton varieties to meet commercial demand of cotton and ensure financial benefit of the farmers.

'Explore oil, gas under state proprietorship'

The National Committee to Protect Oil-Gas-Mineral Resources, Electricity and Seaports yesterday demanded the government explore oil and gas resources under state proprietorship.

Dhaka Wasa realises Tk 1.4cr in bill arrears

Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) realised around Tk 1.39 crore in outstanding bills during a drive in different parts of the city from December 12 to January 4.

Blankets for orphans

Banglalink has recently donated blankets in various orphanages in and around the city to help orphans withstand cold wave which is currently sweeping across the country, says a press release.

2 commit suicide in city

Two teenagers committed suicide in separate incidents at Dhanmondi and Jatrabari yesterday.

Special episode of BBC Sanglap today

BBC Bangla is going to organise a special episode of its flagship Bangladesh Sanglap programme on media in Bangladesh today.

Court allows to quiz OC Rafiqul

A Dhaka court yesterday allowed the Criminal Investigation Department to interrogate former Officer-in-charge of Motijheel police station Mohammad Rafiqul Islam at the jail gate in the August 21 grenade attack cases.

DU signs MoU with Korean university

Dhaka University (DU) and Silla University (SU) of Korea yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for establishing and promoting academic exchange and research programmes between the two educational institutions.

2 accused appear in court after 13 years

A director and a manager of Adflame Pharmaceuticals who are charged with adulteration of paracetamol syrup appeared before a Dhaka court yesterday 13 years after the case against them was stayed.

National

Boro seedbeds withering away for dense fog

The ongoing cold wave accompanied by dense fog has started impinging on agriculture, especially in the boro seedbeds in rice producing northern districts.

Govt seems not honest to its promises: Larma

Parbatya Chhattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) leader Jyotirindra Bodhipriya Larma alias Santu Larma yesterday said they are losing confidence in the present government, as it is not serious about implementation of the peace agreement.

Use national resources for people's welfare

National Committee for Protection of Oil, Gas, Mineral Resources, Electricity and Ports yesterday formed human chains and held rallies in districts as part of their countrywide programme demanding use of national resources to serve people's interest.

'Repair Sirajganj embankment before rains'

Sirajganj Swartho Rakkha Sangram Committee and Bangladesh Samajtrantrik Dal (BSD) jointly brought out a procession and formed a human chain in the town yesterday demanding renovation of the Sirajganj town protection embankment during the current dry season.

BRTA engr caught red-handed

Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) men yesterday caught red- handed a Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) official while taking bribe from the vehicle owners.

Tiger kills one in Sundarbans

One person was killed in tiger attack on Monday evening in Kukhomari area in the Sundarbans.

Nasim appeals to drop his name from murder case

Former home minister Mohammad Nasim yesterday appealed to a Pabna court to withdraw his name from a murder case in which he was charge-sheeted during the rule of four-party alliance government.

Auto-tempo strike

Auto-tempos and auto-rickshaws went off the roads in Sirajganj yesterday protesting realisation of additional charges by owners from the workers. Sirajganj district auto-tempo and auto-rickshaw workers association called the indefinite strike on Monday to press their two-point demand. Association sources said, the auto-tempo and auto-rickshaw owners have been charging Tk 500 a day while the workers earn Tk 350 to Tk 400. Besides, the owners realise an additional amount in the name of 'chain maintenance.' Hamidul Islam, general secretary of the workers association said the strike would continue until their demands are met.

Principal's room ransacked

Students of civil department at Patuakhali Polytechnic Institute yesterday ransacked the principal's room demanding picnic tour. Over one hundred students damaged windowpanes and also flower tubs in front of the room. Students said, they have been demanding picnic tour for over a month but the principal remained unmoved. Time was running out as all 350 students of all seven semesters of the department rarely get such opportunity, they added. Contacted, Principal AKM Monjurul Ahsan said he disagreed as the final exam will be held from February 15. "I requested them to arrange picnic after the exam but they are not listening to me", he said.

Youth murdered

Police on Monday recovered the body of a young man from near BDR sector headquarters at Goalkhali under Khalishpur police station. The unidentified youth, aged about 20, was wearing a black woolen jacket. His body bore marks of stab injuries. OC Mokaddem Ali of Khalishpur police station said the criminals might have dropped the body near BDR camp after killing the youth elsewhere. A general diary has been filed in this connection with Khalishpur police station.

Arms, ammo recovered

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) on Sunday recovered arms and ammunition from the house of a former union parishad chairman at Chakpara under Sadar upazila in Chapainawabganj district. Acting on a tip off, a Rab team raided the house of ex- chairman of Chakpara union parishad (UP) Omar Ali at about 1 pm. They recovered two foreign made pistols, eight bullets and two magazines hidden under the mattress of his bed. However, none was arrested in this connection. Later, Rab handed over the seized arms and ammunition to Sadar police.

17 hurt in separate clashes

At least 17 people including two women were injured in separate clashes at Senpara village in Sadar upazila and Sonai village in Raiganj upazila on Saturday. Police said a clash ensued at Senpara village between Haji Moksed Ali and weaver Selim over boundary dispute of a mosque in the morning that left 12 people of both sides injured. Of them, seven including two women named Shilpi and Hosneara were admitted to Sadar hospital. In another incident at Sonai village, two rival groups, one led by Moslem and another by Rashid, locked in a clash over possession of a disputed pond, leaving five people of both sides injured. Separate cases were filed with police.

Press club executives

A new executive committee of Barguna press club was elected through an election held on Saturday with Abul Kalam Azad, Barguna correspondent of the daily Independent as its president and Sanjib Das, Barguna correspondent of Ekushy TV and Bhorer Kagoj as secretary. Monir Hossain Kamal, district correspondent of daily Samokal and Sohel Hafiz, district correspondent of NTV were elected vice presidents and Zafor Hossain, district correspondent of Islamic TV was elected assistant secretary of the new committee. After the election, Zakir Hossain Miraj declared the new committee as election commissioner.

Letters

Ship-breaking yard

The ship-breaking yards of Chittagong have become death traps for the hapless workers. Fatal accidents are very common there. Though the owners of the yards earn huge amount of money through this industry, they are indifferent in ensuring security for the workers. Despite the recent tragedy, yard workers are compelled to work without gloves, safety costumes, etc. Moreover, these ship-breaking yards are a great source of environment pollution. By this time Faujdarhat and Bhatiary, nearby areas of Sitakunda, have become worst affected by pollution. In those areas 21 species of fish have become extinct and some 11 species are on the verge of extinction.

Role of media

It has now become apparent that some newspapers work as silent supporters of some political vision and modulate the readers' minds in the direction of the political philosophy of a chosen political party. As a television viewer, one is subjected to the same experience as that of the print media. The media may have a liking for some political philosophy but the problem arises when it becomes blind. The role of print and electronic media is found to serve the purpose of different political parties. They make programmes focusing on the party interest, whereas the media should have guarded the interest of the people without any compromise. The media by their unbiased, pro-people role, through their news, editorials and programmes, can make people aware of their legitimate rights.

Good films

In old times watching films was the main source of entertainment for the general people. In those days they used to go to watch movies with whole family to celebrate any event. But with the passage of time the scene had changed and the educated people stopped going to the cinema. Because most of the films were full of obscenity.

Congratulations!

I am really proud that Fazle Hasan Abed is to be knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. This is a worthy achievement. He is not only the founder of Brac but also one of the most influential personalities of our country. He has shown the world his quality only through his work.

Pre-primary education

It is a matter of great regret that primary education is in bad shape in our country. In the developed countries the authorities give more emphasis on primary education because it is the foundation of student life. We have learned recently that the present government is going to reshape primary education by setting up more schools, recruiting more teachers, providing tiffin facilities at a cheap cost, giving 100 taka to every student per month, distributing learning materials, etc. And a decision was taken to start pre-primary education within two years. Basically, a student cannot cope with the curriculum of class I at an early age of 4 or 5. An orientation is needed at that age. And not every student comes from an educated family.

Banning religion-based parties

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed's statement that the Awami League regime will ban religion-based political parties is unfortunate. I think such a move will create further acrimony and disunity among the people of Bangladesh. Subsequent political crisis and clashes may claim lives. Instead of addressing such touchy and unnecessary issues, the government should work hard with the help of the people of Bangladesh to advance our economy and our national standing in the international arena. Whenever we step out of our land, our national pride meets disillusionment, as we become aware that our country lags far behind other nations in terms of good educational and political culture and prosperity. Perhaps, our standing in international politics is one of the lowest in the world. The political parties that have been in power are largely to blame for this. Banning religion-based parties will not give us bread and butter. Let us address the pressing issues of poverty, illiteracy, corruption, campus violence and other social and political ills, which have been crippling the nation ever since its birth.

Quack doctors, spurious medicines

Some days ago we watched in a TV report that some dishonest traders have been supplying adulterated medicines to several pharmaceuticals. We have come to know that there exist not only quack doctors but also fake pharmaceuticals. The present situation seems to be like “all thieves are cousins”.

Sea level rise and Bangladesh

Climatologists predict that in the middle of the next century, the temperature of this earth may rise by as much as 4 degree Celsius. This could catastrophically reduce food production, destroy or severely damage wildlife, raise sea level and thereby flood coastal areas and farmlands.

Textbooks

The government has claimed that they have been able to distribute textbooks to all primary and secondary school students in the country. But the reality is different.

High speed train

This refers to a news item published on the 28 December 09 in The Daily Star about China unveiling world's fastest train link a train travelling at an average speed of 350 km per hour. Well, that's China. They have the resources and the willingness to serve the people. What about us, the people of Bangladesh? Would it be too much to expect High Speed Train (HST) service from Bangladesh Railway between Dhaka and Chittagong? Let's try to dream of travelling from Dhaka to Chittagong in about three hours or so. Well, that would not be high speed train, but that of medium speed. By definition, HST in China, Japan, some of the Asian countries and in Europe have a speed of 250 to 300 km per hour or so. In France, it is called Train a Grande Vitesse (TGV) having a speed of 280 km/hr. However, test runs have achieved 400 to 500 km/hr around the world.

Dearth of energy resources

The nation is now experiencing shortage of gas, water and electricity in different parts of the country. These problems have become very acute. According to experts, natural gas is depleting at an alarming rate, which requires the government to take the necessary initiative for the future fuel provision. Amid these acute crises, we all are expressing apprehensions. We are frequently asking and putting blame on the government for these ordeals. But is it only the government failing to cope with these problems? In fact, the government alone cannot bring any positive change unless there is cooperation and collaboration of its citizens.

BDR mutiny report

I have doubts about an authentic and accurate final report on BDR mutiny being published.

Loan disappears!

A surprising BSS report was published in a local English daily on 3 January. It reported a government high-up's statement that Tk.107 crore loaned to Jatiyo Matshajibi Sambaya Samity by the previous government cannot be traced! This is the most surprising news of this New Year! One really wonders how could such a thing happen? However, apart from this bomb-shell statement, nothing else was mentioned about the matter. This too is surprising; given the investigative trend of our newsmen.

Inclement winter

Winter can be very inclement. So, our well-off society, please come out from the dreamy world and carry out your duties! If you don't give them money or shelter, then at least give them a single warm clothe which you don't wear now and which is left to you uselessly.

Anatomy of one-eleven

I believe, our leaders and eminent personalities have totally forgotten the environment under which the one-eleven take over took place and it was a welcome happening that brought a sigh of relief to the people of this country as a whole. Had there been no one-eleven, the masters of election engineering would have staged an election on 22/11 and the pre-fixed election results would have been declared. There could have been street fights if not a civil war between the pro-and-anti election supporters. There would have been loss of lot of lives and properties. The engineered winners would not have lived more than 1 or 2 months and the country would have been in deep chaos and confusion.

Combating corruption

The chairman of Anti Corruption Commission Ghulam Rahman has said that to mitigate corruption in our country the politicians and their followers have to prove themselves to be honest in their activities, otherwise it is not possible.

Great recognition

Through your columns, I wish to offer my heartiest and profoundest congratulations to Fazle Hasan Abed of Brac on the announcement that he will be conferred knighthood (Knight Commander) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of his most noble services to the poor, deprived and disadvantaged of Bangladesh and elsewhere.

Hillary on Copenhagen

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in her recent remarks at the United Nations Convention on Climate Change held in Copenhagen, Denmark has very critically appreciated the consequences of climate change on Bangladesh. She said:

BNP and JS

I am utterly disappointed by the BNP politicians. They got elected by the people and it is their sacred duty to attend parliamentary sessions to highlight the problems of the people of their elected areas. But instead, they are finding excuses not to attend JS sessions. People are unhappy with the attitude of these BNP members of parliament. Now they have come up with a 10-point demand in order to return to parliament. This is absurd and ridiculous.

Blind supporters

I refer to Mr. Palash's letter on BNP's policy published on 4 January in your daily and regret to observe that many knowledgeable citizens in Bangladesh are yet to get out of the AL-BNP syndrome which is harming our beloved country greatly. Our daily life revolves around questioning and counter-questioning every thought that is aired and anything and everything has to do for or against these two parties even when dealing with external issues.

International

Qureshi says Afghan war should stay out of Pakistan

The Afghanistan war against Taliban militants should be fought in the country itself and not spill over into Pakistan, the Pakistani foreign minister said yesterday.

Rajapakse announces $4bn package to woo Tamil voters

Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapakse unveiled a USD 4 billion-reconstruction package for the war-ravaged North to pursue Tamil voters ahead of the election in which the minority community could play a decisive role.

US demands Pak must stop harassing diplomats

The United States has demanded that Pakistan must stop harassing American diplomats in the country.

Nepal urges United Nations to extend mission

Nepal has asked the United Nations to extend its mission in the country, a government official said yesterday, following international criticism of delays to the peace process.

One killed in Lanka poll attack

Gunmen in Sri Lanka yesterday opened fire on a bus carrying supporters of the main opposition presidential candidate, killing one political activist, police said.

Pak military plans third front against Taliban

After decimating the Taliban in two areas of Pakistan's restive northwest, the military now seems to be planning a third front against the militants in the area.

N Korea must give up idea of becoming N- power says US

The Obama Administration has said that North Korea should give up its ambition of becoming a nuclear power before returning to the denuclearisation talks.

Iranian nuke physicist killed in bombing

A nuclear physics professor at Tehran University was killed Tuesday by a bomb-rigged motorcycle parked outside his home in Iran's capital, state media reported.

China says missile defence system test successful

China announced that its military intercepted a missile in mid-flight Monday in a test of new technology that comes amid heightened tensions over Taiwan and increased willingness by the Asian giant to show off its advanced military capabilities.

Berlusconi back in Rome after attack

Premier Silvio Berlusconi returned to a busy political schedule Monday after a month long recovery from an attack that broke his nose and two teeth.

Iraqi security forces lock down parts of Baghdad

Iraqi security forces locked down parts of Baghdad yesterday and were searching neighborhoods for possible car bombs, military officials said, in what appeared to be a wide-ranging operation across the city.

Sarah Palin takes Fox News job

Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has signed to be a contributor on the Fox News Channel, her lawyer has said.

Facebook profile 'kills job chances'

Your profile on Facebook may become a cause of worry when looking for a job, as employers are increasingly checking on networking sites to know more about the people they intend to recruit, a new study claims.

UK moves to ban controversial Islamist group

Britain's government said yesterday it will ban an Islamist group whose proposed protest march through a town known for honouring British soldiers killed in Afghanistan drew national outrage.

Woman who saved Anne Frank's diary dead at 100

Miep Gies, the woman who hid the Dutch youngster Anne Frank's diary from the Nazis to become one of the world's most-read books, has died after a brief illness at the age of 100.

Man facing charges for first 'Twitter murder'

A man is facing charges in what police think is the first murder sparked by a row on Twitter.

8-yr-olds save drowning man

Two 8-year-old boys in a young lifeguards training program rescued a man who was struggling in the ocean off Australia's east coast.

Russian soldier threatens to blow up shop for alcohol

A Russian soldier in east Siberia's Irkutsk region threatened to blow up a grocery store as he had no money to pay for an alcoholic beverage, police said.

Arts & Entertainment

A duet of two generations

Those who are well acquainted with Bengali music of the 1950s are familiar with his voice. With his very "Hemanta [Mukherjee]-like" voice, he established himself as an accomplished Rabindra Sangeet and contemporary singer in the 1950s. Even in his 80s, Dwijen Mukhopadhyay's vocals sound unwavering.

Hoping for a better future

The "4th LWM International Festival of Docufilms on Liberation and Human Rights" ends today at the Liberation War Museum (LWM) in Dhaka. Organised by LWM, the weeklong festival began on January 7. Over 30 documentaries from 14 countries including Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, USA, UK, Germany, Norway and the Netherlands have been screened at the festival.

Golden jubilee celebration of Mymensingh Press Club

The recent three day long golden jubilee celebration programme of Mymensingh Press Club was interspersed with flamboyant cultural shows, much to the delight of hundreds of people who flocked to the club auditorium.

“Ballads and Paintings”: Book of Shakoor’s works published

“Ballads and Paintings”, a book featuring works of Abdus Shakoor Shah, was launched at Garden Gallery, Baridhara in Dhaka on January 12. Shakoor is one of the most well known painters of the country. His signature style involves folk motifs and traditional Bengali ballads.

Cultural event to observe ‘Tebhaga Movement’ anniversary

Indigenous people along with several social organisations of Dinajpur recently commemorated the historic 'Tebhaga Movement' by holding a discussion, cultural programme and a rally.

“Sherlock Holmes”: An all-action take on the Victorian super-sleuth

There's an eccentric touch in the end credits for Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes". They're beautifully done, freeze-framing all the preceding mayhem into elegant graphic stills to recall Sidney Paget's original magazine illustrations. Then up pops the page for the movie's literary source -- credited to “the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle”. How late can you get? Watching this pumped-up Victorian buddy movie, Doyle might have wondered what mad century he'd stepped into.

Poush Mela ends on a happy note

Gobindakati Binapani Library and Kalpurush Natya Sangstha jointly organised a three-day Poush Mela at the library premises of village Gobindakati in Kaliganj upazila.

OP-ED

Digital Bangladesh Bank

BANGLADESH Bank (BB) has adopted advanced ICT to be digitised in all spheres of its functions including monetary policy, banking supervision and internal management. BB has already introduced e-commerce, e-banking, automated clearing house etc.; a historic move towards achieving higher productivity across all economic sectors including agriculture and SME through use of ICTs. Engineers could be pioneers innovating new applications of ICT, and reaching them to the doorstep of the common people.

Binod Bihari Chowdhury, the last revolutionary

BINOD Bihari Chowdhury remains, even as he turns into a centenarian, our last remaining link to a decisive part of subcontinental history. The sadness is in knowing, though, that what he and his comrades did between the years 1930 and 1934 in terms of arousing a sense of patriotism in all of us who wished to put an end to British colonialism in India is a reality we have almost confined to the sidelines of truth.

Highlights of 2009

THANK goodness 2009 is over. What a year that was. What was your most memorable moment?



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