The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, September 20, 2014


News of: Sunday, 17th of January, 2010

Front Page

PM bins criticism, defends deals

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday strongly defended the deals signed with India, and said the outcome of her recent visit to the neighbouring country would help the region in efforts to eradicate poverty.

49 essential drugs may get costlier

Prices of some 49 essential drug items will see an increase soon as the technical sub-committee of the Price Fixation Committee of Drug Administration (DA) has put forward a proposal to hike the prices of those items.

Indo-Bangla summit marks bold shift in ties

Foreign policy analysts, economists and former diplomats yesterday said the Bangladesh-India summit marked a bold shift in the relationship between the two countries and the success of it would depend on proper implementation of follow-up actions.

Nat'l health policy in 3 months

The government will finalise the National Health Policy 2010 within three months with an aim to take specialised treatment to district and upazila levels, Health and Family Welfare Minister Ruhal Haque said yesterday.

UN seeks $562m quake aid for Haiti

Haitians cowered in fear yesterday as armed looters scavenged through their ruined capital filled with the stench of rotting corpses after the earthquake said by the UN to be the worst disaster it had ever faced.

Proshika staff stage sit-in

Hundreds of Proshika employees staged a sit-in in front of their head office for the fifth consecutive day yesterday and also held a protest march against police barring them from entering the building in the city's Mirpur.

Experts for regional monitoring system

Regional experts in the water sector yesterday recommended a joint regional monitoring system on the Himalayas glaciers and coordinated management of trans-boundary rivers.

NGO boss fills top 11 posts with close relatives

The top 11 posts of HEED Bangladesh, a non-government organisation (NGO), are occupied by relatives of its executive director.

Home ministry ready to give Kibria probe report to CID

The home ministry has the copy of the government probe report on the assassination of former finance minister SAMS Kibria, Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder told The Daily Star yesterday.

Khaleda to brief media today

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will brief the media at the Party's Gulshan office at 3:30 pm today about her party's stand on the outcomes of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's recent visit to India.

24 kids die in Cox's Bazar in 5 days

Twenty-four children have died of pneumonia in the last five days in the hilly and char areas of Cox's Bazar.

Connectivity won't lead to market loss in NE India

Prof Mustafizur Rahman of CPD yesterday ruled out the notion that connectivity would cause loss of Bangladesh's market in India's northeastern states; rather it would create more business opportunities for the country.

Poor litigants to get govt support

The government has taken an initiative to provide financial assistance to poor litigants so that they can get justice.

Rebels bar new JCD leaders from entering DU campus

Members of the newly formed central committee of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) and their followers could not enter the Dhaka University campus yesterday due to obstruction by a rebel group.

BNP did same for Japan as AL does for India

The BNP is criticising the ruling Awami League for supporting so early India's candidature for permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), but facts show that BNP while in power supported Japan in 2005.

First Test against India starts today

Bangladesh will face a stiff challenge when they return to Test cricket after a six-month break today taking on world's number one team India at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the port city.

Massive graft in crackdown on illegal VoIP

Massive corruption occurred during the crackdown on illegal Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) operators, said Chairman of parliamentary standing committee on post and telecommunication ministry Hasanul Haq Inu yesterday.

Ashuganj rental power plant now ready to operate

The national grid will get 55 megawatt (MW) of electricity by the end of this month as a gas-fired rental power plant set up by a local company is likely to go into production in Ashuganj by the time.

Bangladesh to send medical team tomorrow

Bangladesh will send a 30-member medical team, comprising 20 doctors and 10 health technicians, to earthquake-hit Haiti by tomorrow.

Bangladesh 'overperforms' in trade logistics

A new World Bank survey has ranked Bangladesh as an "overperforming" country in proving efficiency of trading goods around the world.

Govt to ensure int'l standard war crime trial

State Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Quamrul Islam yesterday urged people not to go for wholesale filing of cases across the country against war criminals as that may hamper the trial of the criminals.

Outlaws now involved in city crimes

Outlaws holed up in the capital to evade arrest in their localities are getting involved in city crimes.

Boycott land grabbers

State Minister for Housing and Public Works Abdul Mannan Khan yesterday said a number of land grabbers set up newspaper houses with illegally earned money and asked people to boycott them.

BSF kills 1

Indian Border Security Forces shot dead a citizen of Bangladesh at Kazipur border under Gangni upazila of Meherpur yesterday.

Afghan MPs reject most cabinet picks

The Afghan parliament has rejected the majority of President Hamid Karzai's second slate of cabinet choices in a new setback to the US-backed leader.

Jyoti Basu still critical

The condition of ailing CPM patriarch Jyoti Basu turned extremely critical yesterday with all his vital organs affected and an attending doctor said, “There is little hope of good result.”

Pakistani nukes in safe custody

Pakistan Prime Minister has stressed that the country's nuclear assets are in safe custody.

Editorial

New threat to Haikkar canal

THERE is bad news again from the environment front. Despite public concerns about canals, lakes and other water bodies being filled in with sand and stone by unscrupulous elements, despite administrative and even judicial measures to put a stop to such encroachment, there seems to have been little improvement in the situation. It is true that of late the authorities have moved toward reclaiming many canals and similar water bodies in and around the nation's capital. It is equally, and sadly, true that in some way or the other the nefarious elements responsible for turning these water bodies into something of a wasteland manage to sneak back to the scene and begin their dark work all over again.

Prisons without doctors

IT is dreadful revelation that 57 out of 67 prisons across the country do not have a single doctor to come to the aid of the inmates during illness. What is more atrocious is that prisoners serving rigorous imprisonment are given the task of nursing the patients because of the absence of trained nurses. We wonder what would the situation look like if epidemic of an infectious disease breaks out in any one of those prisons. As there would be no place to shift thousands of prisoners within a short time it is only probable that a large number of them would get infected and face death or impairment of health.

Lessons from Haiti

THE devastation of Port au Prince, the capital of the Central American state of Haiti, has made it glaringly evident what havoc a powerful earthquake can wreak on a country that is poor and not well-prepared to face a natural calamity of colossal magnitude. Though this island nation is no stranger to calamities, especially sea-borne ones such as hurricanes, the quake that struck it last Tuesday afternoon was the first of its kind in the last 200 years.

A post-secular nation?

MUSLIMS, the world over, are in a quandary. Continuing terrorism by a small segment of Muslims in the name of jihad against "infidels" and their reportage in the global media have resulted in the framing of Western attitude towards the Muslims as a people chained to their roots and unable to adapt their system of politico-economic governance and social life in accordance with democratic principles understood "as a universal ideal (and) as the capacity of men to control their life in society through communicative reason and public institutions (Carlo Galli of University of Bologna-Reset Sept/Oct 2007)."

Arsenic in paddy

ON January 14, 2010, The Daily Star reported an increase in the accumulation of arsenic levels in the topsoil of agricultural lands that are irrigated by arsenic-rich groundwater. The article referred to a recent study by Professor Badruzzaman and Professor Ali (both of Buet). In their study, the professors reported that paddy grown on lands that have been irrigated by arsenic-rich groundwater contain up to 0.3 milligrams (300 micrograms) of arsenic per kilogram of paddy. A relevant but unanswered question is whether this level of arsenic in the grains is a health threat. While the Daily Star article is rather ominous in its tone, some analysis based on WHO and FAO data leads to a less threatening conclusion.

Sports

None is invincible: Shakib

There was no other choice for Bangla-desh captain Shakib Al Hasan and coach Jamie Siddons than encountering what Virender Sehwag had just told about their team during the pre-match briefing yesterday.

Sehwag counts Tigers out

Will it be a battle between the Gulliver and Lilliput when world's number one team India take on bottom-side Bangladesh in the first match of the two-Test series in the port city today? One may argue that cricket is a game of uncertainty. But when a player like Virender Sehwag draws the comparison like this, things are bound to heat up.

Wushu vows 2 gold

Bangladesh Wushu Association (BWUA) is hoping to spring surprise in their first-ever appearance in the 11th South Asian Games by giving the nation two gold medals on home soil.

U-19s off to a winning start

Bangladesh Under-19 got their World Cup campaign of to a winning start picking up a five-wicket victory with 112 deliveries remaining over Papua New Guinea in Palmerston North. The new-ball bowler Abul Hasan picked up four wickets, three of which dented PNG's top and middle order after they chose to bat, while the spinners kept run in check. PNG were bowled out for 191 in 46 overs. Set a D/L target of 189 in 46 overs, Bangladesh suffered a top-order wobble but the lower middle order polished off the chase. The main contributor was all-rounder bowler Shabbir Rahman, who hit an unbeaten 51 from 45 balls. His innings was sandwiched between key knocks from Mahmudul Hasan (38) and Nural Hasan (24 not out from 17 balls).

Rain halts SA progress

AB de Villiers and Mark Boucher shared an attacking century partnership on the third day of the fourth and final Test against England at the Wanderers Stadium on Saturday before rain again interrupted South Africa's push for a series-levelling win.

Rajshahi, Dhaka win

Rajshahi posted a mammoth victory over Sylhet by an innings and 139 runs on the third day of the 4-day match of the National league at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah yesterday. Dhaka too wrapped up their match against Khulna winning by 8 wickets at the Rajshahi Divisional stadium. The other match between Chittagong and Barisal being played at the Khulna Divisional Stadium is poised for an exiting last-day finish as Barisal will need a further 177 runs to win with five second-innings wickets in hand.

Zoran calls for replacements

Goalkeeper Biplob Bhattacharya and midfielder Pranotosh Kumar have been asked to join the national U-23 football camp for the South Asian Games to be held in Bangladesh from January 29 to February 9.

Ivory Coast into quarters

Ivory Coast became the first team to reach the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals with a 3-1 triumph over severely depleted Ghana in Group B on Friday.

Chaos reigns supreme

Day six of the Africa Cup of Nations had Ivory Coast beaming, Mali fuming, and Algeria left out in the cold by their national media and accused of gamesmanship by organisers.

Benitez not giving in

Rafael Benitez has apologised to Liverpool fans for his side's woeful season the under-pressure Reds boss insists he has no intention of quitting.

Bayern back on top

Germany striker Miroslav Klose came off the bench to help fire Bayern Munich back to the top of the Bundesliga after more than 600 days away as the German giants beat Hoffenheim 2-0 on Friday.

Babel's Twitter outburst

Liverpool's out-of-favour winger Ryan Babel has risked the ire of coach Rafael Benitez after publicly lamenting his lack of playing time on the micro-blogging website Twitter.

Martins rejoins Super Eagles

Wolfsburg striker Obafemi Martins has rejoined the Nigerian team in time for Saturday's Africa Cup of Nations Group C match against Benin here, team officials said.

West Ham fined

West Ham have been fined 115,000 pounds (130,000 euros) after serious crowd trouble marred their League Cup victory over London rivals Millwall in August.

Maxi vows to bail out Rafa

Liverpool midfielder Maxi Rodriguez has vowed to help beleaguered boss Rafael Benitez by making an immediate impact at Anfield after his move from Atletico Madrid.

No guarantee for Robinho's place

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has warned Robinho that the Brazilian's price tag and reputation won't guarantee his future at Eastlands.

Kalle keen to keep Ribery

Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said Friday he will do everything he can to keep French international Franck Ribery at the German giants.

Aussies widen lead

Salman Butt's third Test century and Ricky Ponting's decision not to enforce the follow-on should ensure the Hobart Test goes for the full five days, although Australia remain in control with a 277-run advantage by stumps on the third day of the third Test in Hobart on Saturday.

Serena isn't bothered

Defending champion Serena Williams has played down concerns about her troublesome left knee after cancelling a practice session on Saturday ahead of the Australian Open.

Butt not losing sleep

Salman Butt atoned for some of the mistakes of the second day with a valuable third Test hundred for Pakistan at the Bellerive Oval on Saturday. Butt's ton couldn't take Pakistan past the follow-on, but it helped push Australia to bat again in any case, taking a little bit more time out of the Test and improving Pakistan's chances of escaping a 12th successive defeat to the hosts.

Federer's Haiti relief effort

World number one Roger Federer has organised a charity tennis exhibition on Sunday ahead of the Australian Open to raise money for victims of the Haiti earthquake.

Verdasco wins Kooyong Classic

Spain's Fernando Verdasco completed a perfect preparation for the Australian Open by defeating Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5, 6-3 Saturday to win the Kooyong Classic.

Yousuf being realistic

Embattled captain Mohammad Yousuf believes it is unfair to expect miracle results in Test cricket from an inexperienced and young Pakistan team.

Baghdatis bags Sydney crown

Former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis capitalised on a shaky tiebreaker from Frenchman Richard Gasquet to claim the Sydney International ATP title here on Saturday.

School cricket

A brilliant century from Anik helped Harinsinga High School emerge zonal champions in the Standard Chartered National School Cricket Competition with a slim 12-run win over Mohimaganj High School in the final at the Gaibandha Stadium yesterday.

Business

Bangladesh moves up in trade logistics efficiency

Bangladesh has emerged as an overperforming country in proving efficiency of trading goods around the world, according to a new World Bank survey.

AB Bank goes for equity financing

AB Bank has entered equity financing, as it has purchased preference shares of a power generation company and a telecom transmission service provider.

BTRC to sharpen watch on telecom transparency

The telecom regulator has moved to check how mobile and land phone operators go by rules in paying revenue to it.

New player to fly the skies

One of the country's oldest conglomerates Habib Group plans to venture into aviation business, a growing market in Bangladesh.

IPO lottery of DBH First Mutual Fund held

Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation Ltd arranged the initial public offering (IPO) lottery for its first mutual fund that was oversubscribed by more than 13 times, said a statement.

Khulna Hardboard Mill back in production

State-owned Khulna Hardboard Mill resumes its production today after more than month of closure.

Easing income tax rules stressed

Speakers at a discussion here yesterday emphasised reducing complexities in income tax regulations and easing the overall taxation system, which they said, will widen the tax net.

4 more US banks shuttered

Regulators shut down banks in Illinois, Minnesota and Utah on Friday, bringing to four the number of bank failures so far in 2010, following 140 closures last year amid the weak economy and mounting loan defaults.

Eurozone trade surplus falls to 4.8b euros

The 16-nation eurozone's trade surplus with the rest of the world fell to 4.8 billion euros (6.9 billion dollars) in November, official figures showed Friday.

Ship-breaking policy soon: Barua

The government will soon make a policy for the shipping-breaking industry to ensure environment-friendly growth of the troubled sector.

Indian food festival kicks off

The Westin launched a 16-day Indian food festival yesterday to promote the sub-continent's cuisine to their guests.

Hershey to bid at least $17.9b for Cadbury

US chocolate maker Hershey plans to bid at least 17.9 billion dollars next week for British confectioner Cadbury after concluding it can top US food giant Kraft's offer, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

China’s overseas investment up 6.5pc

China's overseas investment in non-financial sectors rose 6.5 percent last year from 2008 despite the economic downturn, the government said Friday, as the nation kept up its global hunt for resources.

Taiwan allows $500m Chinese capital in market

Taiwan will allow Chinese investors to invest up to 500 million dollars in the island's stock market, in a further step towards closer economic ties, the government said Saturday.

The Bangladesh moment

The significance of the four-day official visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should not be judged merely in terms of the number of agreements and MoUs signed; much more important is the expression of political will for cooperation.

US inflation outpaces wages

The spending power of families is being squeezed, government data showed Friday, highlighting doubts about consumers' ability to drive the economic rebound.

Bargain hunting lifts Asian stocks

Investor concerns that China will move to further rein in lending were brushed aside in Asia on Friday as bargain-hunters moved in following losses in the morning.

Oil slides under $78

Oil prices fell further on Friday on weak energy demand and news the US commodity and options regulator was looking to tighten controls in the energy futures market, analysts said.

Obama defends banking fee

US President Barack Obama on Saturday defended a fee he had proposed imposing on the country's largest financial firms, saying his administration will not allow Wall Street to "take the money and run."

Germany, Singapore top World Bank trade logistics survey

Germany emerged top and Singapore second Friday in a new World Bank logistics survey that measures how efficiently countries trade their goods around the world.

JAL, Delta reach deal over tie-up

Japan Airlines has reached an agreement on a tie-up with Delta Air Lines as the troubled Japanese carrier readies for a court-led rehabilitation, a newspaper said Saturday.

JPMorgan kicks off bank earnings on strong note

JPMorgan Chase opened the earnings season for banks Friday reporting a hefty jump in profits Friday, highlighting renewed health in a sector under intense scrutiny for its pay practices.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Jan 10- 14, 2010
International Markets
The US dollar lost most of ground against most of it rivals, after data showed that the December 2009 job losses were greater than expected, although the November data were revised to show job creation.

Metropolitan

Unavailability of morphine tablets increases patients' suffering

Unavailability of morphine tablets, the gold standard drug used to relieve pain, has increased the patients' suffering.

Libya keen to recruit docs, nurses, workers

Libya has expressed its keenness to recruit a large number of doctors, nurses and workers from Bangladesh.

Build yourselves as qualified leaders to make country hunger-free

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the authorities concerned to increase the number of scouts to 1.5 million by 2013 by creating more than one scout team in each school of the country.

DU alumni reunion held amid festivity

The third grand reunion of Dhaka University Alumni Association was held at the central playground of the university yesterday amid fanfare and much enthusiasm.

Strike called off as govt suspends recruitment

The strike at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) called by both doctors and fourth class employees was called off which was scheduled to be observed yesterday after the government had suspended recruitment of 4th class staffs on Friday.

PM's India visit to help improve relations

Speakers at a BBC dialogue yesterday said prime minister's visit to India was a successful one and long-standing issues, including acute shortage of electricity and terrorism, will be solved through the treaties and memorandums of understanding signed by the two countries.

Sweet water on decline in Rajshahi city

There has been some decrease at sweet water level in Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) area resulting in the scarcity of drinking water, said a geographical study at the concluding session of the two-day international seminar at Rajshahi University yesterday.

22,000 health workers to be appointed in rural areas

Some 22,000 health workers will be appointed this year to expand health care facilities in rural areas through the community clinics, said State Minister for Health Mujibur Rahman Fakir yesterday.

Bangladesh, India to celebrate together

India and Bangladesh would celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore together in a befitting manner in the year 2011, said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday.

BPF condoles death of Imtiyaz

Children of Kalyani Inclusive School, staffs of Bangladesh Protibondhi Foundation (BPF) and members of its board of trustees condoled the premature death of Imtiyaz Husain in Afghanistan.

3 killed in city road accidents

Three people were killed in separate road accidents in the city in two days.

Vessel stranded near Ctg port for dense fog

A vessel loaded with edible oil got stranded near Karnaphuli estuary on its way to Chittagong Port yesterday afternoon due to dense fog.

Nazrul songs were inspiration for FFs

Speakers at a conference here yesterday said the songs and poems of rebel poet Kazi Nazrul Islam were a source of inspiration for freedom fighters during the liberation war in 1971.

Man dies under wheels of locomotive

An unidentified man was killed falling under the wheels of a locomotive near Banani Railway Station in the city yesterday.

Agri university result published

The result of the written test for admission in Bachelor of Science (Agriculture/ Fisheries) programme at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Agricultural University Summer Term 2010 was published yesterday.

National

Scenic Durgapur isolated for want of a bridge

Durgapur, a scenic tourist spot in Netrakona district, is virtually isolated from rest of the country as construction of a bridge that started 14 years ago is yet to be complete while another bridge damaged by flood two years ago awaits repair.

Student nurses agitate again for 6-pt demand

Students of Mymensingh Nursing College yesterday boycotted classes and brought out a procession on the campus to press their six-point demand.

BL College Shibir activists freed

Police yesterday released eight Shibir activists arrested in connection with Friday's violence on Daulatpur Government BL College campus while a Meherpur court the same day sent to jail 25 Shibir men who were arrested after clashes at Meherpur Government College on Friday.

Indefinite bus strike in Nilphamari

Buses went off the streets as an indefinite strike began in the district yesterday.

Headmaster murdered in Shariatpur

Criminals murdered headmaster of a high school and injured three others at Santospur Bazaar in Sadar upazila on Friday night.

Munshiganj honours three of her noble sons

Three noted personalities and 164 meritorious students of Munshiganj were accorded reception at a function at Shilpakala Academy in the district town yesterday. Citations were handed over to the recipients.

Tiger kills one in Sundarbans

A tiger yesterday killed a man in Dingimari area in the Sundarbans. Victim Ruhul Amin Sardar, 50, was son of Khokon Sardar of village Uttar Atulia in Shyamnagar upazila. According to forest officials, Ruhul Amin and four others went to the Sundarbans to collect 'gol pata' (tree leaves) taking pass from the Burigoalini forest station on January 7. A tiger attacked Ruhul while collecting leaves and dragged him into the deep forest yesterday morning. Forest guards and locals recovered the body in the afternoon, they said.

Prisoner dies in Sirajganj

A prisoner died of cardiac arrest in district jail here early Friday. Convict Abdur Razzaque, 57, son of Omed Ali, hailed from Barapur village in Belkuchi upazila. He was jailed for life in a murder case recently. Police said, Razzaque suddenly fell sick after he felt acute chest pain at midnight and died at hospital after a few minutes. Sirajganj Sadar Hospital later completed his post mortem. A UD case was filed.

Smuggled fertiliser seized

Police recovered one tonne smuggled MOP fertiliser from a truck on Friday night and arrested one person in connection with the incident. Police said, acting on a tip-off that smuggled goods were being unloaded from a truck at Lalpur on Dhaka- Chittagong highway, police rushed to the spot and recovered the fertiliser from a warehouse owned by one Lutfor Rahman. Feni police station sub-inspector (SI) Md Ismail said, a case was filed while Lutfor was still being interrogated.

10 hurt as students clash

At least 10 students were injured in a clash between the activists of Awami League backed Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) backed Jasod Chhatra League at Rangpur Government College Campus yesterday. The clash ensued at about 11:00 am following an altercation over hanging a banner. Sources said, JSD backed Chhatra League claimed AL backed BCL used to hang its banners at the college removing the banners of other parties. Yesterday's clash took place after the JSD-backed students protested the matter, they said.

Smuggled coal seized

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) seized 47 metric tonnes of smuggled coal from Lalghat Haorerpar and Guchchhagram in Tahirpur upazila on Thursday night. Acting on a tip-off, a BDR team of Baliaghat outpost under 8 Rifles Battalion conducted separate drives and seized the coal worth about Tk 3 lakh. However, none was arrested in this connection as the smugglers fled the scene sensing presence of the border guards. The seized coal was deposited to local customs office. A case was filed.

Human chain in Meherpur

Journalists of Meherpur yesterday formed a human chain in front of the press club in protest against Friday's attack on the journalists by BCL activists in Meherpur Government College area. They demanded punishment to those who beat up and injured Prothom Alo correspondent Tuhin Aronya, RTV correspondent Polash Khandoker and Desh Tothya staff reporter Mizanur Rahman. Ex-BNP lawmaker Masud Arun and district Jamaat Ameer Haji Samiruddin expressed their solidarity with the journalists.

Conspiracy still on to foil trial of war criminals

Member-Secretary of the Sector Commanders Forum (SCF) Lt General (retd) Harun-ur-Rashid yesterday said conspiracy is on to foil war criminals' trial.

Mother of two raped allegedly by BCL leader, accomplices

A housewife was gangraped allegedly by a Chhatra League (BCL) leader and his accomplices at Raninagar village under Solonga police station in Ullapra upazila on Thursday night.

Outlaws give 'death sentence' to five of rival party

Newly formed outlawed party Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-Congress) pasted posters in several areas in Gangni upazila in Meherpur on Friday and Saturday night.

Five bombs recovered

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) members yesterday recovered five bombs from Bishoykhali village in Sadar upazila.

AL men rampage thru' school

Ruling party men yesterday attacked the teachers and students of Balapara High School under Sadar upazila of Thakurgaon over recruitment of a headmaster for the school.

Letters

Sanctity of Shaheed Minar

My recent trip to Shaheed Minar shocked me to the power infinity. I could not find any match with the image aired on television every 21st February and the one right before my eyes. Considering this is Bangladesh, I was less than half expecting the National Monument being embellished with fresh beautiful bouquets in the middle of November, but expecting a decent and honourable scene at such a historically blotted place isn't too much!

River Madhumoti

The dead Madhumoti has become a great worry of Gopalganj people, as it has never been dredged properly. Recently the government authorities have decided to re-excavate the river and beautify the surrounding areas.

Ailing health sector

We have plenty of human resources for producing more doctors and nurses; but the development plans have been rather sporadic. Lately the government has paid some attention to the plight in the nursing sector; and also have decided to offer more allowances for postings in the rural areas.

Good movie, but…

A few days back I went to watch the widely campaigned movie “Third Person Singular Number” by Mr. Mostafa Sarwar Faruki at Garrison cinema hall adjacent to my residence with one of my relatives. Since purchasing the ticket to watching the movie I was not at ease. Although the cinema seemed to be thought provoking about what is happening to a lone girl in our today's society, I think it could mislead the youth. Let me give an example-- in the first scene, where the heroine Tisha was chased by a teaser and some hooligans while seeking a shelter to spend the night, I found a section of the audience making obscene remarks loudly as if their suppressed feeling found an expression in the form of the characters on the movie. From the beginning to end, such obscene remarks continued.

Food for thought

There was a time when a conservative Muslim woman would have preferred death to a touch of her body by anybody other than by her husband. It was unimaginable on the part of a Muslim woman to move outside of her home without cloaking her entire body with a 'burkha' and wrapping a curtain around the passenger seat of a vehicle where she would sit to travel. Getting photographed was also deemed sinful.

Girls

I acknowledge that presently the state has given the girls freedom in many areas. But the family is still a problem. First of all, a family does not want to spend money behind the girls' education. In spite of being qualified, she is often not admitted in any good educational institution if it is far from her residence. On the other hand "the situation is completely different for a boy.

Sharing river waters

The Teesta water sharing agreement is on the anvil, as reported in almost all dailies on 5th. January. From one report in a daily, I quote the Indian Water Resources Secretary's remarks. He stated, "We want to share water with Bangladesh, there is no doubt about it." What remained un-stated is the ratio of water to be shared. Even if we get the leftover, say five percent of Teesta water, even then it is sharing; justifying the basis of the very positive statement given by the Indian secretary!

Satellite TV channels

Satellite TV channels greatly divert our young generation from our rich heritage. Earlier our youths were influenced by western culture but with the introduction of satellite TV channels they are now dominated by Indian culture. Noticing that those channels were diverting our young generation to foreign culture, the local entrepreneurs launched local satellite channels. ATN, the first private TV channel, started operation in 1997. Gradually other channels came into being. At present about 17 local private TV channels are continuously airing programmes upholding our long-cherished culture and tradition. But if we shuffle through the channels we will come across the ubiquitous dance sequence of the Indian music video. Unfortunately, the young generation is easily lured into those things.

Open and distance learning

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

Occupied footpaths

If any one happens to be in the Dhanmondi Residential Area, she/he will find most of the footpaths occupied by cars that are using them as parking.

Teenagers

We are in 2010. A lot of people think we are in an ultra-modern era. So, we would like to be so fast, especially the teenagers. In this time they wish revitalization of their vigour & visionary powers. Obviously, this tendency has some positive and a few negative aspects. The positive side is that if the teenagers are devoted to their own goals in life, then they will be able to enjoy a dynamic life.

Consultancy firms and students

Every year a good number of students are going abroad for higher education. They are taking help from student consultancy firms. In most cases parents are allured by the advertisement of the student consultancy firms. Student consultancy firms are hiding information and giving false information for doing business. If they give proper information to the students and their parents then they can mentally prepare themselves for any circumstances. After getting the information from the student consultancy firms, their expectations go high. But practically they are facing a different situation. Just for example, the UK has graded their colleges & universities in A and B and imposed restrictions on recruiting students. The tuition fee of the colleges varies from 2500 to 4000 pounds. Most of these colleges do not have enough space to accommodate the students as well as don't have enough classrooms. After the economic recession, the UK has made some tricky decisions for economic development. The highest revenue comes from the education sector. For that they have relaxed their immigration rules. Their main target is to collect the cash money from all over the world. In the last six months approximately 30 thousand students have gone to the UK from Bangladesh for higher education. But most of them have the plan to do job there. It is known to all that due to economic recession people are losing jobs all over the world. In this situation how can you expect to get job there? But the student consultancy firms are still informing that it is very easy to get a job in London.

A wrong policy

The year that saw a revolution in country's education sector must be painful for people who really want a change in education system for substantial development of the country. I was astonished to see Dhaka University's admission procedure that technically banned students from madrasa backgrounds from getting admitted to some key departments. More amazingly, the decision coincided with rising militancy threats that turned out to be a big obstacle for the country's development, investment and everything. This insurgency is mostly led by some madrasa teachers and students.

Ship-breaking or death game?

When world leaders gathered at Copenhagen to compensate the nations affected by environmental pollution and to find out some alternatives or to reduce, to some extent at least, carbon emission to save the planet as human habitat from global climate change consequences, we are simply playing our death-games at Sitakundo ship breaking zone defying all warnings and dangers. In an explosion on 26 December last year while dismantling the oil tanker MT AGATE in Rahim Diamond Steel Product, a shipyard owned by one Hazi Abdur Rahim at Madambibirhat, 4 people were killed on the spot and 2 more later and many others were injured. In the last three months, 13 people have died in three separate accidents and 22 in the last one year . Since 1984, about 1, 000 people died and 6,000 injured in the ship breaking accidents at Sitakundo. At present 37 shipyards are operating at Sitakundo with about 4,000 workers. According to The Daily Star (01/01/2010) and the Daily Prothom Alo (28/12/2009) , about 3,000 ships are waiting globally to be dismantled most of which will surely enter into Bangladesh and Sitakundo will grab its share, no doubt.

English medium school fees

Exorbitant fee structure in English medium schools is breaking the backbone of the middle class families which wish to provide quality education to their children. Parents have become money-minting machines for such schools.

English in nursing

English in nursing is an important issue as the course related books are written in English and this course also originated in English society. There is no provision yet for permanent lectureship for English teachers in nursing colleges and institutions. In addition to this, having no prescribed textbook in English is a serious problem.

New look of Biman

It is heartening that Biman is going to get a different and modern look at last. (A new-look Biman in sight. Star Business. 07.01.10). The present world is more watchful about the outer look of everything. In Europe, America, even in Africa and Asia, every country and their people are paying attention to the modern décor of everything they use, they see or even they eat. Though we haven't yet seen the actual facet of Biman, yet it has been revealed from the picture published in your daily that Bangladesh's flag carrier has got a beautiful look. Now, Biman will have a different image and the national flag carrier will be able to attract more passengers.

International

Quake sparks massive exodus from Haitian capital

Standing at a bus station next to her husband and four children, Talulum Saint Fils looks determined to get out of the Haitian capital that some now refer to as "hell".

Quake worst disaster ever confronted by UN

The earthquake in Haiti is the worst disaster ever confronted by the United Nations, a spokeswoman said Saturday, pointing out that the catastrophe has left affected regions with little infrastructure.

Water delivery disruptions imperil quake survivors

Hundreds of thousands of Haitians are in desperate need of drinking water because of an earthquake-damaged municipal pipeline and truck drivers either unable or unwilling to deliver their cargo.

Mass graves receive unclaimed bodies

Every five minutes, a vehicle pulled up to the gates of Port-au-Prince's cemetery, delivering another corpse to a mass grave dug by authorities trying to clear the broken city's streets of the dead.

Six powers mull new Iran sanctions in NY

Six major powers were meeting here yesterday to chart a response to Iran's nuclear defiance but China is sending a lower-level diplomat in a signal of its reluctance to back tougher sanctions pushed by the West.

President runs country from police station

Working from a police station close to the airport, the Haitian government is trying to provide some governance to the country, whose main symbols of power have been torn down by Tuesday's devastating earthquake.

Yemen confirms killing of 6 Qaeda leaders

Yemen's interior ministry confirmed yesterday the death of al-Qaeda's military chief in the country, Qassem al-Rimi, and that of five of his lieutenants in an air strike a day earlier.

4-year-old-boy miraculously survives

Amid the widespread despair caused by the massive earthquake in Haiti's capital Port-Au-Prince, emerged a rare moment of joy when a 4-year-old boy was pulled to safety three days after he was buried alive in his two-story family home.

Fishes also feel the pain!

It is likely that fishes also feel the pain, says a new study.

US drones pound Pak tribal belt: 11 more militants killed

Unmanned US Predator aircraft continued to pound Pakistan's lawless tribal region on Friday evening, with 11 extremists reportedly being killed in twin drones strikes in North Waziristan.

I'll keep on trusting Sharifs whether they trust me or not: Zardari

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is trying his best to safeguard his chair and seems to be following a policy of reconciliation, as he has said that he would keep on trusting his critics even if they do not.

US, Norway deny funding Rajapakse ouster bid

The United States and Norway yesterday denied funding Sri Lanka's main opposition to defeat President Mahinda Rajapakse's re-election bid later this month.

Mayawati gets plot on moon as birthday gift

To please 'Behenji', some Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) activists are willing to go to any lengths.

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran unite to fight extremism

Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran said yesterday they had agreed to work together more closely to combat extremism, illegal weapons trading and drug trafficking.

3 dead in train collision in fog-bound N India

Three people died and around a dozen were injured when two express trains collided in thick fog in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh yesterday, a senior railway official said.

India and Nepal sign 4 MoUs

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna signed four agreements with his Nepalese counterpart Sujata Koirala to strengthen ties between the two countries.

5 killed in Kenya mosque riots

At least five people were killed Friday when Kenyan police fired live rounds and teargas to suppress a protest by Muslims demanding the release of a radical Jamaican cleric, police said.

Arts & Entertainment

Dhaka Theatre’s homage to Al Deen on his 2nd death anniversary

A two-day memorial programme on the occasion of second death anniversary of 'Natyacharya' Selim Al Deen ended on January 15 at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Al Deen's troupe Dhaka Theatre, with Bangladesh Gram Theatre (founded by the theatre icon), were the organisers of the programme.

When aptitude and emotion come together

Aminul Islam is one of the senior-most and celebrated painters of Bangladesh. He graduated as part of the first batch of Dhaka Art College (now Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Dhaka), which was established in 1948. Artists Hamidur Rahman, Imdad Hossain, Ismail and Abdul Kader were his batch mates.

When dancing bells conjure magic

Shadhona, a centre for advancement of South Asian dance and music, presented the second instalment of "Nupur Bejey Jai" (a bi-monthly dance performance) on January 14 at Chhayanaut Shangskriti Bhaban. Lubna Mariam, general secretary of Shadhona, said that her organisation hopes to make "Nupur Bejey Jai" a regular event.

Bangladeshi cultural extravaganza in UAE

Bangladeshi singers Shaheen Samad, Kiran Chandra Roy, Aditi Mohsin, Rumana Islam and a group of dancers staged a cultural programme at the National Theatre Auditorium in Abu Dhabi yesterday evening. A preview of arts of leading Bangladeshi artists was also arranged simultaneously at the venue to project Bangladeshi culture. The event was extensively covered in the print and electronic media in the UAE.

Poet Bonde Ali’s birth anniversary today

Today is the 104th birth anniversary of Bonde Ali Miah, a noted poet and lyricist of 19th century Bengali literature. He is a well-known figure for his easy-going and appealing presentation and his literary works for children. Bonde Ali was born on January 17, 1906 in the village Narayanpur, beside the river Ichhamoti in Pabna.

OP-ED

Indo-Bangladesh relations: View of a new horizon

THAT small is beautiful does not hold good in this world, not at least in the domain of international relations. In the new world order, it is quite natural that the nations of the world, particularly the economically weaker and smaller ones, will re-evaluate their development needs and revise their politico-economic requisites. Therefore, it is more pragmatic to think regionally than nationally for the obvious reason that meaningful inter-state economic cooperation would invariably ensure sustainable growth and development.

Sluggish investment a matter of concern

THE Bangladesh economy is facing sluggish investment this year. The pace of investment slowed down during the CTG regime as they clamped down on politicians and businessmen for various types of corruption. Recession in the developed countries was another factor for lower investment. The government presented an ambitious budget -- both revenue and development -- to make up the shortfall of the last two years.

Gold still going strong

EVER since the financial tsunami hit the United States and then the whole world, the price of gold had been close to reaching the $1,000 per ounce ceiling. In December 2009, it not only broke through that barrier but also reached a record of $1,216.75 an ounce -- a rise of more than 30% in one year. Now some analysts are predicting that this trend will continue in 2010 and that gold price may soon reach $2,000 an ounce.



The Daily Star

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