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News of: Monday, 1st of February, 2010
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The state minister for environment has given a developer permission to set up a 3,500-foot dredge pipe through the national botanical garden to fill land for housing projects on its eastern side.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday approved awarding the contract for the long-awaited project of introducing machine readable passports (MRP) and visas (MRV) to a Malaysia based company.
Main opposition BNP has decided to complete district-level conferences by this month and send its central leaders to all districts and upazilas to attend party rallies.
A band of teenagers shot the cashier and allegedly looted gold ornaments from a jeweller's at Goal Nagar in the city's Kotwali area yesterday afternoon.
The United Kingdom has temporarily stopped accepting student visa applications from Bangladesh, Nepal and North India due to unexpectedly high numbers of applications from these areas.
The government is going to raise its plans to dredge rivers, enhance cooperation in cross-border trade, increase investment in transport, energy and power sectors at the February 15-16 Bangladesh Development Forum (BDF) meeting in Dhaka.
Dispute over the sale of a plot meant for the Tribal Welfare Association in the capital was the main motive behind the recent attack on indigenous community leader Sanjeeb Drong in Netrakona.
Jubo League and Swechchasebak League activists yesterday went on the rampage at Joypurhat Nursing Institute and assaulted a number of staff protesting "irregularities" in appointment of health assistants in freedom fighter quota.
Rapid Action Battalion yesterday arrested a fugitive sentenced in 1997 to life imprisonment in a murder case who has been practising as a lawyer at Dhaka Judge's Court for the last 14 years.
After firing blank on Saturday, Bangladesh put their name on the medals table yesterday when weightlifter Akramul Huq won the silver in the 56kg category and their men's cycling team clinched bronze away at Khulna.
In a bid to improve relations between Bangladesh's ruling and opposition parties, the Commonwealth Secretariat has proposed a seminar in Dhaka aimed to enhance cooperation between the two sides.
Delta Brac Housing Finance Corporation Ltd., known as DBH, was rated 'AAA' (Triple A), topping the rating scale for long term and ST-1 for short term for the fourth consecutive year.
Leaders and workers of Awami League ransacked and set fire to the house of the brother of Bangabandhu's self-confessed killer Aziz Pasha in Ghior upazila of Manikganj yesterday afternoon.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday hoped that the opposition BNP would return to parliament very shortly to make it more vibrant and effective.
The month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela 2010 begins today on Bangla Academy premises in the city, commemorating the martyrs of the Language Movement, 1952.
Admission seekers could not appear at viva voce as Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leaders and activists at Dhaka College yesterday continued barring the students from entering the examination hall for the second consecutive day.
The government would bring the six fugitive killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman back to the country through mutual legal assistance or memorandum of understanding to extradite them.
A Dhaka court yesterday sent Prof Jahanara Begum, former adviser to the primary and mass education ministry, to jail in a case for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information from the Anti-Corruption Commission.
Swiss great Roger Federer won his fourth Australian Open and 16th Grand Slam title to deny Andy Murray's quest for British tennis history on Sunday.
Narayanganj district administration in collaboration Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority yesterday started dredging operation in the Brahmaputra river from Santupara to Panchamighat.
Kurigram District and Sessions Judge yesterday fixed March 7 for starting trial of a sedition case against alleged 34 mutineers of 27 Rifles Battalion in Kurigram of Bangladesh Rifles, said our correspondent.
The IMF is working to create a 100 billion dollar Green Fund to help countries mitigate the effects of climate change, the agency said on its website yesterday.
India reaffirmed to the United Nations that it would reject any attempt to impose legally binding climate change goals, but pledged to reduce emissions intensity.
A British couple kidnapped by Somali pirates in October said they were not being well treated and needed urgent help, according to an AFP reporter who met them in captivity.
FOR some time now the BNP has been sending out signals about the possibility of joining the parliament. The positive vibes are very welcome indeed, and we would like to think that the motive behind the intention is to fulfill their obligation to their voters and not to save their seats in the parliament that might fall vacant by default of their absence of 90 days.
ONE does not require much wisdom to know that the issue of mental health is rather low on the list of national priorities. It has been that way for years together. In all the discussions on health policy and the like, little, if any, focus has been placed on the pretty large number of mentally challenged people in the country. And now it appears that whatever degree of care there has been for such individuals is under threat of hitting a new low owing primarily to the costs of treatment involved. As a report in this newspaper makes it clear, the rising costs in treatment has compelled patients to leave the National Institute of Mental Health in recent months. Obviously, most patients at the institute and at similar institutes come from not very well-to-do families. Add to that the rise in treatment charges imposed by the government in September last year, which were without question a damper on health care.
AN inordinately long five years have passed since the assassination of Mr. Kibria, the former finance minister, but the nation, including the grieving family, is not sure that the ghastly tragedy has been fully and comprehensively looked into.
THE world's worst polluters -- the oil, coal, automobiles, chemicals, cement and steel industries -- and their climate change-denying supporters must feel elated at the many recent developments, including disclosures about flaws within the scientific assessments of the severity of climate change.
Bangladesh's Akramul Huq narrowly missed the gold medal on the opening day of weightlifting in the 11th South Asian (SA) Games at the National Sports Council Gymnasium yesterday.
Fresh from their 3-0 win over Nepal, Bangladesh are looking forward to sealing their semifinals berth of 11th South Asian (SA) Games football event when the hosts take on Bhutan in their second group match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.
Bangladesh women's football team kept their hopes of playing in the final of the 11th South Asian Games football event alive with a 2-0 defeat over Sri Lanka in their second match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
Roger Federer dismantled Andy Murray in the Australian Open final Sunday to extend his own record to 16 Grand Slam titles and prolong the British drought.
Afghanistan became the first team to qualify for the semifinals of football in the 11th South Asian Games as they handed a 2-1 defeat to Pakistan in their Group B match at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong yesterday.
Defending champions Pakistan got off to a flying start in the men's hockey event of the 11th South Asian Games with an awesome 19-0 win over minnows Nepal in their first match at Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.
India have expressed their willingness to host the 12th South Asian Games sometime before 2014 during an Executive Committee Meeting of South Asia Olympic Council (SAOC) yesterday.
Bangladesh made a frustrating start in judo of the11th South Asian Games when their two favourite judokas finished third in their respective categories at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan yesterday.
Emmanuel Adebayor signalled his return to the Manchester City starting line-up with the opening goal as City defeated crisis club Portsmouth 2-0 at Eastlands.
As Britain's Andy Murray faltered in his attempt to win his first Grand Slam title taking on world No.1 Roger Federer in the Australian Open final in Melbourne, a more absorbing sporting contest took place in Perth. Having bowled out Pakistan for 212, Australia were made to fight every inch for the two-wicket win that handed Pakistan their second 5-0 sweep in history. Fittingly, it was Michael Hussey, Australia's most valuable player for a scrap, who steered them home with an unbeaten 40.
Shahid Afridi has been banned for two Twenty20 internationals after being found guilty of ball-tampering during Pakistan's two-wicket loss to Australia at the WACA in Perth on Sunday.
Iqbal Qasim has tendered his resignation as Pakistan's chief selector following the side's disastrous results in Australia, where the team was whitewashed in both the Test and ODI series, in what turned out to be one of Pakistan's most dispiriting campaigns in recent years.
An emotional Andy Murray choked back tears as he apologised to British fans for failing to win the Australian Open and claim the nation's first Grand Slam men's title in 74 years.
A charity doubles match hastily-arranged by Roger Federer ahead of the Australian Open has so far raised more than 600,000 US dollars for the Haiti earthquake victims, officials said Sunday.
Legendary fast bowler Imran Khan said Sunday that Pakistani players had suffered 'insulting treatment' at the hands of the Indian Premier League, and no player should take part in the tournament.
Day-night Test cricket could still be 'several years' away, according to the head of the Kookaburra company, who believes a red ball is the only one that can last 80 overs. Cricket Australia has asked Kookaburra to deliver a ball that can be used for Test cricket under lights and a pink ball is being trialled over the next week in Futures League matches.
Ottis Gibson has left his position as England's bowling coach to become the head coach of West Indies, according to the UK's Daily Telegraph.
Bangladesh men and women's kabaddi teams got off to flying starts in the 11th South Asian (SA) Games at the Outer Stadium Kabaddi Court yesterday.
Chelsea captain John Terry put the controversy over his private life to one side by scoring the winner in a 2-1 victory at Burnley as his side went four points clear at the top of the Premier League.
Hosts Bangladesh made a flying start in the T20 cricket competition of the 11th South Asian Games with an eight-wicket victory over Nepal in the opening match at the Shahid Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi yesterday.
A delightful back-heel from Jose Maria Gutierrez set up Karim Benzema for the first of a brace as Real Madrid, without suspended Cristiano Ronaldo, beat Deportivo La Coruna 3-1 on Saturday.
Napoli's drive for a Champions League place slowed on Saturday when they were held at home to a goalless draw by Genoa.
India's gold hunt in cycling continued for the second day in the 11th South Asian (SA) Games as their men's team won the 80-kilometre road race time trial that began at 9am from the Zero Point of Khulna to Mollahat of Bagerhat district.
Bangladesh were eliminated from the semifinals in both men's and women's team events of the badminton competition of the 11th South Asian Games at the Wooden Floor Gymnasium yesterday.
Sampdoria denied reports that they are about to loan troublesome forward Antonio Cassano to Serie A rivals Fiorentina on Sunday.
SQ Celsius, a concern of SQ Group, a major high-end garment exporter, is going to list on bourses in June, its top official said yesterday.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said the biggest challenge for the government in macro-economic management is reining in inflation.
The Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) plans to post audit reports on its website, allowing people a wider access to the documents, said CAG Ahmed Ataul Hakeem yesterday.
Potato prices have registered a substantial fall at retail level on increased supply of the tuber, driven by early harvest as many farmers opt for boro rice cultivation.
A four-day international show of textile and garment machinery will begin tomorrow in Dhaka, which the organisers said will help local entrepreneurs experience the latest machinery for clothing industry and adopt those to compete in the global market.
About 4.5 lakh Teletalk subscribers have found their cellphone reception down or out because of technical faults in its server from Saturday night.
A parliamentary body said yesterday efforts are on to identify a group of 20 to 25 syndicates who according to the committee are involved in 'creating unrest' in the markets and 'responsible' for price hike of essentials.
Asian Development Bank (ADB) has awarded its five best performing project teams for 2009 in Bangladesh yesterday, it said in a statement yesterday.
The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) yesterday urged the government to set up coal-based power plants and promptly finalise a national coal policy to reduce power shortages at factories.
Md Rafique, a mobile credit retailer, was happy as Dhaka University reopened in January after a winter vacation. He pinned hopes on students for brisk sales on the campus. The students are a key driver of mobile credit sales at his stall.
A key indicator of financial performance and efficiency is the spread between lending and deposit rates. If this spread is large, it works as an impediment to the expansion and development of financial intermediation.
International Chamber of Commerce-Bangladesh (ICCB) has underscored the need for devising ways in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules to help combat climate change.
A three-day housing fair in Chittagong ended on Saturday, recording Tk 670 crore in orders that exceeded organisers' expectations.
Commodity prices mainly fell this week on worries about the global economic outlook but sugar rocketed to a multi-year high on tight supplies, traders said.
Transcom Foods Ltd (TFL), franchisee of KFC in Bangladesh, recently won three awards from renowned restaurant group Yum! Restaurants International at a function at Colombo, Sri Lanka, says a press release.
Switzerland's justice minister warned in an interview on Sunday that top bank UBS could collapse if sensitive talks with the United States over a high-profile tax fraud investigation fall through.
Regulators shut down a big bank in California, along with two banks in Georgia and one each in Florida, Minnesota and Washington. That brought to 15 the number of bank failures so far in 2010 atop the 140 shuttered last year in the punishing economic climate.
The IMF is working to create a 100 billion dollar Green Fund to help countries mitigate the effects of climate change, the agency said on its website Sunday.
India reaffirmed to the United Nations that it would reject any attempt to impose legally binding climate change goals, but pledged to reduce emissions intensity.
Japanese media on Sunday urged domestic carmakers to restore their reputation for "quality and safety" following Toyota's massive recall of cars worldwide because of faulty accelerator pedals.
Filipinos have mostly not benefited from the country's economic growth -- equal to about five percent annually -- during President Gloria Arroyo's seven-year term, a top official admitted Sunday.
Phoenix Insurance Company Ltd appointed Fariduddin Khan Siddiqui its managing director, says the insurer in a statement.
Speakers at a programme said effective parliament with active participation of the ruling party and the opposition can make democracy stronger.
A parliamentary committee yesterday asked the agriculture ministry to introduce crop insurance for farmers to encourage them to increase their crop production.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday laid emphasis on cultivating several crops on the same land round the year and increased use of compost fertilisers to give a boost to farm output.
Independence cannot be protected unless the country gets rid of war criminals and communalism, said anti-British movement veteran Binod Bihari Chowdhury yesterday.
Speakers at a campaign programme yesterday underscored the need for strengthening the monitoring mechanism of the primary schools in rural areas to ensure the quality of education.
Speakers at a human chain yesterday demanded the government to take immediate steps to explore gas from the country's gas fields to ensure adequate supply of gas.
The government has appointed Swapan Kumar Saha, Chief News Editor of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS), as Minister (Press) at Bangladesh Embassy in Washington for a two-year term.
Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Housing and Public Works Ministry ABM Fazle Karim Chowdhury yesterday stressed the need for planned growth of the port city with sufficient road networks and drainage system.
At least seven people were killed and 51 others injured in separate road accidents in Chittagong, Bagerhat and Jhalakathi in two days.
Trial of war criminals will start soon, as preparation in this regard is almost at the final stage, Home Minister Sahara Khatun said yesterday.
A Dhaka court yesterday sent Ashiyan City Land Developer Ltd Chairman Nazrul Islam Bhuiyan to jail after he surrendered before it and sought bail in connection with an attempted land grabbing case.
Five prosecution witnesses, including two lawyers of the Supreme Court (SC), of a sedition case, filed against two lawyers on charges of vandalism on the SC premises told a Dhaka court yesterday that they saw no vandalism on November 30 in 2006.
Saudi Arabia will provide 50 million US dollars in donation for humanitarian relief work in Haiti affected by a massive earthquake recently, says a press release of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia.
Sramik Karmachari Oikya Parishad (Skop) yesterday demanded implementation of the recommendations of the pay commission and formation of a wage commission for the industries in the public sector.
Speakers at a seminar yesterday identified arsenic contamination in underground water as the major problem.
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) will start its member collection campaign today, says a press release.
The closing ceremony of an international workshop titled 'Ticket to Life' organised by Bangladesh Scouts with the help of Asia Pacific Regional Scouts was held at Mouchak in Gazipur yesterday, says a press release.
The Supreme Court yesterday stayed for seven days a High Court verdict that granted bail to controversial businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun in a money laundering case.
The High Court (HC) yesterday rejected a writ petition filed by Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of the daily Amar Desh, challenging the proceedings of 24 defamation cases against him.
The first year admission test of Bachelor of Education (honours) of Institute of Education and Research (IER), Dhaka University for academic session 2009-10 will now be held on February 5.
The hearing on the petition filed by Iqbal Hassan Mahmood Tuku seeking attachment of former army chief General Moeen U Ahmed's properties before judgment was not held as the conducting judge was on leave yesterday.
The High Court yesterday directed the government to submit a report on irregularities, if any, in the process of appointing housekeepers and cleaners for the prime minister's office and International Convention Centre.
Zia Fertiliser Company Limited (ZFCL) at Ashuganj incurs a daily loss of at least Tk 15 lakh in terms of production due to its decrepit BFW pre-heater unit.
A good amount of fertiliser is kept in the open space under tarpaulin cover as Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation (BADC) has failed to get back a godown from a private firm that rented the warehouse 15 years ago.
Eighteen alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces were yesterday sued on charges of killing a freedom fighter, looting his house and setting fire to it at Teligati village under Morelganj upazila of Bagerhat in 1971.
Robbers looted cash and gold ornaments from two jewellery shops at Charia Nayahat Bazaar in Hathazari upazila early yesterday.
Khulna Metropolitan Police (KMP) will release photos of wanted criminals with their criminal background on the website soon.
A Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-9) team on Saturday rescued an abducted schoolboy and arrested two in connection with the abduction from Ishwarganj upazila headquarters.
A section of Awami League leaders and activists laid siege to Raiganj Police Station yesterday demanding release of upazila AL leader Abdullah Pathan.
Detective Branch of police raided different areas of the district town Friday and arrested three more in connection with killing of a student of ASA University.
Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-6) recovered four powerful bombs, one revolver and a magazine Saturday midnight from the residence of 'Hatkata' Khaleque of Rajapur village under Rupsha upazila.
Barisal City Corporation (BCC) authorities have decided to name seven city roads after seven freedom fighters and noted persons of the city.
Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury yesterday took initiative to settle the dispute between hawkers and traders of two city markets.
Police arrested three outlaws in Bamundi petrol pump area of Gangni upazila in Meherpur Saturday night.
A Gopalganj court yesterday sentenced six people to life term imprisonment for killing two villagers in 1990.
At least seven people were injured in a factional clash of Jubo League at Chuta Khurma in Biswanath upazila on Friday night. Locals said an altercation ensued between supporters of local Jubo League leaders Shamsu Mia and Reaz Mia over formation of a committee of ward number 2 of Alangkari union at about 9:00pm. At one stage, the groups attacked each other and pelted brickbats, leaving seven people injured from both sides. The injured were identified as Wahab Ali, 19, Selim Mia, 25, Sadik Ahmed, 25, Ibrahim Ali, 30, Motin Mia, 32, Afroz Mia, 40, and Mahiuddin, 35.
Police arrested a 'criminal' and recovered arms from his possession at Jhhayamari village in Kaliganj upazila Saturday night. Arrestee Ohab Ali Piyada, 43, is son of Md Taleb Ali Piyada of village Jhhayamari. Upon his confession, police recovered a revolver and six bullets from a shrimp enclosure occupied by him last year, sources said. Quoting locals police said police arrested him from Satkhira town on January 30. Ohab is involved in different crimes including land grabbing, snatching and mugging in the area. Police said he is also an absconding accused.
A scheme has been taken up to bring 91,809 hectares of land under boro paddy cultivation in six upazilas of the district with a production target of 3,41,480 metric tonnes in the current season. According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) sources, of the total, 23,700 hectares have been brought under the scheme in Sadar, 17,000 hectares in Kaliganj, 9,650 hectares in Kotchandpur, 22,495 hectares in Maheshpur, 9,550 hectares in Shailakupa and 9,414 hectares in Harinakundu upazilas. DAE officials said they have already started supply of quality seeds, fertiliser and other necessary agri-inputs among the farmers at fair prices to make the scheme a success. They said the farmers produced 3,48,284 metric tonnes of rice in the district cultivating 93,515 hectares of land last season.
A team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested a young man along with a single barrel gun and a bullet in Sagordi area of the city early Saturday. The arrested man was identified as Mir Shahidul Islam Rony, 35, a notorious criminal and extortionist of the area. Rab sources said Rony would be handed over to police after interrogation.
Probably you, the captain of the Bangladesh cricket team, have taken his asking as “Rebuke” but it was a “Cry” from the bottom of the heart of the board president which echoes millions of Bangladeshis and he has the right to do so. Late Maj. Khaled Mosharaf and Maj Haider, the legendary sector commanders, would always asked for more even if the “Boys” gave their best. It does not mean that they “Humiliated” their boys by asking for more, they just wanted their boys to give their best. It is how boys used to be inspired. How a leader of a group could stand in front of those sector commanders and defend after losing more then 100 boys [read runs] in an attack where there seemed to be a wining situation, just because of lacking in attitude [clearly there was along with the body language ] to win the war. When the boys could do it after nine months why it could not be done after more then 150 months [read Tests]. Just saying “Doing Better” is definitely not enough.
The editorial on Dhaka Traffic (DS, Jan 19, 2010), was very appropriate and timely, but hardly adequate. It was like blowing a puff of air to remove a mountain. As media personnel, you have to do something more substantive to make the government declare the traffic situation an 'emergency' and get various ministries to put their heads together to solve the problem.
Most of these riots are politically motivated. During such riots anti-social elements got the full advantage, thereby furthering animosity.
With the arrival of winter every year we see the mass-migration of birds of different species from ice-covered regions of the world to our country. Hence they are our guests. These birds play a vital role for the eco-system of Bangladesh. But we do not make our land a haven to them, rather we give a cruel treatment to these dumb guests.
There is a wise saying, ''Today's students will lead the nation tomorrow.'' But if they are misguided and involve themselves in vicious and heinous activities, how will they become our future leaders? In the educational institutions we often see some so-called students under the shadow of political groups or in the name of student politics they create campus violence.
We feel worried, shocked and concerned about the standard of education, general knowledge, learning of English and mathematics of our secondary school boys and girls.
The other night I was made to stop by an uproar and a pathetic wailing of some young children outside my residential hall. When I went to the spot, I found the little possessions of some homeless people who were living on the footpath around Dhaka University and BUET campus lying scattered while a few women were shouting at the top of their voice and a couple of young panic-stricken shivering children letting out heart-rendering cry which made air heavy on that chilly night. I saw a micro-bus parked beside with a line “Proctorial team, University of Dhaka” stuck to its back and came to know that it was a drive meant to eradicate the rootless people occupying the university footpath making the place look dirty. Some people were justifying the drive saying that those footpath-dwellers were involved in illicit activities and responsible for making the area untidy. I knew that the accusation of the people was not baseless and the university authorities had the right to do what they did in terms of law. But from a human viewpoint how and who can justify an action that threw a number of poor creatures including a couple of innocent kids out of 'their home' on that biting and bone-shivering cold midnight? The two children were too panic-stricken and cold-beaten to cry normally. The sight was pathetic enough to make even an iron-hearted to have sympathy for those children.
It is well known that a democratic system is a self contained and self sustained foolproof system. Solution to any problem in a democratic system is contained within the system itself and one should look for solution within the system, not outside. If solution has to be brought from outside then the system is incomplete and weak.
Learnt from the DS report dated 21 Jan 2010 that while addressing the National Conference of Trained Imams at the city's Bangabandhu International Conference Centre you said the following:
Test cricket is the real test for a cricketer. Only very good players can survive here. In this sense Bangladesh cricket team is really an ordinary one. After spending nine years in Test arena it's pathetic to see the miserable performance of the cricket team. They could not learn anything all these years. Our batsmen go to the crease and do some 'gung-ho' style batting. And it costs us dearly. We could easily draw the Chittagong Test, which was shortened by bad weather, if our batsmen showed some patience.
We all know that Bangladesh has been independent for the last 40 years. But only a few kilometres of railway track have been added to our vulnerable railways.
The well written article, printed in your pages on 21st. January, by your Defense & Strategic Affairs editor is a polite though sarcastic and indirect criticism of the Hon. Leader of the Opposition! Hopefully, someone reads it out and explain it to her. One barb, and I quote, states, "Much is to be said in favour of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community"!
The Daily Star in its editorial of 19 Jan under the above caption has expressed surprise over Begum Khaleda's reaction. What the paper predicted has proved to be right and the paper should not have expected anything else. Begum Zia has said what she was expected to say and the people were not surprised.
Although progress has been made in the judiciary of our country Bangladesh, strange loopholes exist in our legal systems that take away our rights.
Traffic jams are the biggest problem in Dhaka city. Day by day the number of vehicles is increasing. No alternative roads are being made. Therefore, the vehicles get stuck in a few roads. It is also true that it is difficult to construct alternative roads around Dhaka. But we could build more flyovers to reduce traffic jams.
In the process of decentralisation, upazila parishad has been a focal point of administration. As per the recommendation of CARR (Committee for Administrative Reform and Reorganization), formed in 1982, under the chairmanship of martial law administrator M. A. Khan, during the regime of H. M. Ershad, upazila parishad was entrusted with a broad range of functions. The activities included formulation of development plans, proper implementation of these plans, discharge of criminal and civilian cases, collection of revenue and maintenance of law and order. As an outcome of this initiative, we distinctively prioritise the flow of participation of local people in administration and development. The upazila chairman was provided with the authority to oversee and monitor the activities of civil servants in collaboration with the upazila parishad members. He was also authorised to write the ACR (Annual Confidential Report) of the officers concerned. But, now the ACR is usually written by UNO (Upazila Nirbahi Officer). Though the first upazila election was held in 1985, it was abolished in 1991 during the then BNP government. Later, almost nineteen years, in 2008, the military backed caretaker government wanted to revive the upazila parishad through holding "Upazila Election -2008." But our lawmakers intended to emerge as advisers to the upazila chairman. The intention and intervention of the lawmakers have almost kept the upazila parishad dysfunctional. Again the ruling party also pledged that they would strengthen local government to ensure good governance. In order to ensure decentralization of power, local development and people's participation, it is a must to empower upazila chairman.
On the dawn of the New Year, there was a heart rending bus accident in Faridpur, killing 18 passengers and leaving many critically wounded. Unfortunately, some of our newspapers could not even accommodate the news in the front page. Most probably the reason is that accidents are becoming a daily occurrence.
At last the Australian police admitted that there was element of racism during the attack on the Indian student and they knew that for the last two years. Why they were hiding the facts before the murder of the unfortunate Indian student is not clear.
Thank you very much Architect Dr. Nizamuddin Ahmed for your article “Best is just not good enough” (Star Sports Section of January 24, 2010). Shakib & his team can not demand respect, they have to learn to earn it.
Afghanistan's president appealed to Taliban fighters yesterday to put down their weapons and accept Afghan laws as the government and its international allies push a programme to entice militants away from the insurgency.
The Pakistani Taliban yesterday denied fresh rumours that their chief Hakimullah Mehsud is dead, while the army said it was investigating as reports re-emerged that he was killed by US drone missiles.
Afghanistan, one of the world's poorest countries, is sitting on mineral and petroleum reserves worth an estimated one trillion dollars, President Hamid Karzai said yesterday.
Fighter jets and helicopters yesterday pounded a district in northwest Pakistan where a suicide bomber killed 17 people a day earlier, in a response described by authorities as "severe".
Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse has transferred several senior military officers loyal to the former army general who he defeated in elections, a military source said yesterday.
The United States has begun beefing up its approach to defending its Persian Gulf allies against potential Iranian missile strikes, officials says. The defences are being stepped up in advance of possible increased sanctions against Iran.
Delhi will have the country's first museum on news - Newseum!
The heirs of Maharani Gayatri Devi of the erstwhile Jaipur royal family, considered the wealthiest royalty of Rajasthan, have approached the Delhi High Court for getting back nearly 800 kg of gold seized by the government in 1975.The gold, listed as the private property of Gayatri Devi's husband, the late Maharaja Sawai Man Singh, was seized by the Income Tax (IT) department as the family had not declared it to the authorities as stipulated by the Gold Control Act, 1968. The act has now been repealed.
A group of 10 American Baptists were being held in the Haitian capital yesterday after trying take 33 children out of Haiti.
China and the United States were locked Sunday in an escalating row over US arms sales to Taiwan, with Washington rebuffing Chinese protests and insisting the deal promotes stability in the Taiwan Strait.
Tony Blair's evidence to Britain's Iraq war inquiry, notable for a lack of any apology, sets up an awkward appearance within weeks for Prime Minister Gordon Brown, ahead of a likely May election.
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon yesterday criticised power-grabs in Africa in a speech to the continent's leaders as Libya's Muammer Gaddafi reluctantly handed over the presidency of the African Union to Malawi.
Queen Elizabeth II has reportedly roped in top Royal officials, dubbed the 'Three Wise Men', to train her grandson William for the British throne.
Clashes broke out overnight between Yemen's forces and northern Shia rebels despite a rebel truce offer, military officials said yesterday, as the government claimed another 24 Huthis killed.
After his predecessor Eliot Spitzer quit when his $1,000-an-hour romps with call girl Ashley Dupre became public two years ago, current New York Governor David Paterson too is facing rumours of sexacapades.
Arts & Entertainment
Ekushey Book Fair has become a symbol of our national identity. The fair lasts throughout the month of February. Understandably, readers, writers, educationists wait enthusiastically for this event. During this month, the fair becomes a hub for all creative people.
Two renowned classical musicians were accorded reception at a two-day long Uchchanga Sangeet (classical music) Festival that ended in Rajshahi recently.
A two-day long printmaking workshop concluded on January 30 at Cosmos-Atelier 71, Malibagh, in the city, says a press release. Leading local and foreign printmakers attended the workshop with an aim to popularise the medium among artists in Bangladesh. Wood engraving, linocut, metalcut, etching, aquatint, mezzotint, drypoint, lithograph, among other mediums, are familiar to the printmakers of our country.
It is believed that one third of our lives go into sleeping. Considering its significance, slumber somehow does not figure, as it should in art.
Fariha Jahan and Shayla Islam Rodshi's “Tuktuker Chasma” won in the Film Competition Section. The second award went to the film “Miss U” (directed by Sadia Tabbasum Priti) and the third award winning film was “The Mother” (directed by Abu Sayeed Nishan). The fourth award winner was the film “Bodh” (directed by Yaseen Rahman Suman) and the fifth award went to the film “The Tennis Ball” (directed by Moniruzzaman Shajib). Action Aid Bangladesh, Rtv and Children's Film Society gave away the prize money to awardees.