The Daily Star

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Sunday, October 26, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 3rd of February, 2010

Front Page

Constitution to get back on '72 track

The Supreme Court yesterday dismissed two petitions contesting the High Court verdict that declared the constitution's fifth amendment illegal.

Govt happy

The law minister and the attorney general have said the original spirit of the Liberation War and the four principles of the 1972 Constitution have been restored following yesterday's order on the Fifth Amendment by the Supreme Court.

Constitution lost basic character

The fifth amendment ratified all actions including those that destroyed the basic character of the country's constitution and made it subordinate to martial law proclamations, orders and regulations made during around four years after August 15, 1975.

HC verdict summary

The Appellate Division has upheld the High Court judgment, but will add some modifications and observations of its own. Following is what the HC said in its 2005 verdict.

12 more deserters on JMB hit list

At least 12 more former members of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh -- hiding in Uttara and Gazipur -- are suspected to have been on the hit list of the banned Islamist outfit.

The fifth amendment

Parliament had hurriedly passed the Constitution (Fifth Amendment) Act, 1979, ratifying and confirming all martial law proclamations, regulations and orders, and other laws made between August 15, 1975 and April 9, 1979.

Babar shown arrested

Former state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar was shown arrested yesterday in the case filed in connection with the assassination of former finance minister and Awami League leader SAMS Kibria on January 27, 2005.

Border shopping from mid-April

Border markets will open on a pilot basis between Bangladesh and India on Pahela Baishakh, the Bangla New Year, to facilitate trade between the two countries' people living in remote frontier areas.

BNPPP sits tomorrow

The BNP Parliamentary Party sits tomorrow to discuss the main opposition party's possible return to the House in the ongoing session.

Teesta water scanty in dry season

Water Resources Minister Romesh Chandra Sen yesterday admitted in parliament that requisite quantity of water is not available in the river Teesta in dry season.

Stop dumping in Buriganga

Stopping Dhaka City Corporation from dumping rubbish into the river and moving tanneries from Hazaribagh would solve half the pollution problem of the Buriganga, said speakers at a citizens' meeting.

JS probe suggests sacking of 313 staff

Some 313 employees including 42 teachers and 61 consultants of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University may lose their jobs or posts as per the recommendation of the parliamentary sub-committee formed to investigate massive corruption at the university.

Ratna shoots 2 golds for hosts

There was conviction when Bangladesh won their first gold in the 11th South Asian Games on Monday. But the efforts of three young shooters led by a magnificent Sharmin Akhter Ratna were as pure as 24-carat gold at the National Shooting Range in Gulshan yesterday.

29pc cut in power sector allocation

In the revised Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the current fiscal year the government is going to cut the allocation for the power sector by 29 percent, as many projects in the sector could not progress as expected.

Quit if city tailback not reduced

Ruling Awami League lawmaker Prof Nazma Akhtar yesterday said in parliament that the minister and bureaucrats of the ministry concerned should resign if they cannot reduce the city's horrific tailback.

Bangabandhu killer Noor was present during Aug 21 attack

Major (retd) Noor Chowdhury, a fugitive convict in Bangabandhu killing case, was present at Bangabandhu Avenue during the August 21 grenade attack on Awami League rally to assassinate Sheikh Hasina, alleged a senior AL leader in the parliament yesterday.

Fake revenue stamps on sale

Rapid Action Battalion seized fake revenue stamps, court fee stamps and non-judicial stamps worth around Tk 30 lakh and arrested two persons including a stamp vendor yesterday from the capital's Motijheel area.

Efficient lighting scheme to save 500MW

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) has approved a project titled Efficient Lighting Initiative for Bangladesh with an aim to save some 500-megawatt electricity by June next year.

BCL men stop admission again

Bangladesh Chhatra League men yesterday halted interview of first year honours admission at Sathkhira City College for about half an hour demanding a "political quota" and continued barring holding of interview at Dhaka College.

OMS of rice in divisional HQs soon

The government yesterday decided to expand open market sales (OMS) of rice to all divisional headquarters soon and increase the number of dealers from 70 to 100 in the capital from today.

Miners strike at Barapukuria

Bangladeshi miners at Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) went on an indefinite strike from Monday midnight demanding profit bonus.

Booklovers throng fair venue

Crowds of curious booklovers flocked to Bangla Academy yesterday for the second day of the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela.

BCL factions clash at DU

A fierce clash between two factions of the Bangladesh Chhatra League at Dhaka University injured at least 25 people yesterday, including seven policemen and a journalist.

China launches probe into new tainted milk

China has launched a 10-day emergency crackdown on tainted milk products after several were found creeping back onto the market despite a massive scandal that sickened hundreds of thousands of children in 2008.

Editorial

The traffic logjam in Dhaka

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's unhappiness at the prevailing chaos on the road traffic front is also ours. The way people's movements are increasingly getting difficult, indeed circumscribed because of the congestion on the roads all across the nation's capital is as irritating as it is mind-boggling. In the past one year, we have heard of a number of plans being put in place to bring order back in the traffic system. So far none of those plans have worked. And now we hear of new steps, especially related to business establishment closures on particular days of the week, being taken.

Expanding tax base

Two major impediments to internal resource mobilisation in our context have been that there could be many having the potential to pay taxes remain outside the dragnet and those that are listed as tax-payers evade payment of taxes.

Bangla . . . the way it was, and is

NOW that the ambience of Ekushey is here once again, it is time to reflect on the state of the Bangla we read, speak and write in our times. When we waged that epic struggle for the Bangla language to be accorded the respect and status it deserved in the state of Pakistan in the early 1950s, our goal was much more than making sure that it became the predominant language or one of the predominant languages of Pakistan. The struggle was, in so many ways, one of telling ourselves that the sophistication and modernity, indeed the dynamism that gives a language its energy and its verve, would all be there once the non-Bengali ruling classes had acknowledged the justness of our cause.

No, the stigma is still there

WITH the execution of the five convicts of the Bangabandhu murder in the early hours of January 28, there was jubilation across the country. Yes, we have reasons to be happy, because justice has been vindicated in this case -- although the nation had to wait for a long 34 years to see it happen.

Sports

Golden girls shoot to glory

Sharmin Akhter Ratna scripted history for Bangladesh in shooting when she won both the individual and team event gold in the women's 10m air rifle competitions of the 11th South Asian Games at the Gulshan Shooting Range yesterday.

Tigers open tour today

Bangladesh will kick off the New Zealand trip today with the only T20 International at the Seddon Park in Hamilton.

Booters eye clean sheet

Bangladesh will be looking to end the group phase as champions when they take on Maldives in the last Group A match of men's football of the 11th South Asian (SA) Games at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Girls edge Pakistan

Bangladesh's women footballers kept their hopes alive of playing in the gold deciding match with a solitary goal victory over Pakistan at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Bowlers call NCL shots

On a day for bowlers, it was left-handed batsman Faisal Hossain who stood tall to save Chittagong from an early hiccup against Dhaka on the first day in one of the three fourth round matches of National Cricket League at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra yesterday.

BCB to have new body

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided to form a technical evaluation committee for the national team and the domestic cricket structure.

Mahmud lifts bronze

After the golden day on Monday, Bangladesh weightlifter Firoz Mahmud had to be content with a bronze medal in the weightlifting event of the 11th South Asian Games at the National Sports Council Gymnasium yesterday.

Gibson named WI coach

Former England bowling coach Ottis Gibson will take over as head coach of the West Indies in time for the home series against Zimbabwe later this month, a cricket official said here.

Nayar shines on Day One

South African bowlers started their first day of cricket on the tour with a sharp delivery that hurried a batsman, and ended it with one that lifted sharply and took the edge through to the second slip. In between they saw the whole spectrum that India could present them in this series, at least as much as is possible in one day of practice.

Capello to decide Terry's fate

England manager Fabio Capello alone will make a decision on John Terry's future as England captain, the Football Association (FA) said on Monday.

Lack of quality spinners worries Laxman

VVS Laxman, the Indian batsman, has expressed concern over the lack of quality spinners on India's domestic circuit, a problem he feels will be a 'worrying factor' for the Indian team. Speaking on Cricinfo's latest video show Opening Up, Laxman was more optimistic about India's batting reserves and was bullish on the survival of Test cricket.

SL deny India

India's quest for a clean sweep in cycling shattered in a photo finish on Tuesday.

Setback in kabaddi

Bangladesh's hopes of playing the final of the men's kabaddi event of the 11th South Asian Games almost evaporated when the hosts went 11-17 down to Pakistan in their third match at the Outer Stadium Kabaddi Court yesterday.

McDonald out, Keane in

Australia striker Scott McDonald's successful Celtic career came to an end on Monday as he joined English Championship side Middlesbrough for an undisclosed fee in a transfer deadline day move.

Hosts fall to Pakistan

Bangladesh went down 3-0 to Pakistan in hockey of the 11th South Asian (SA) Games at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Stoke hold Sunderland

Sunderland failed to halt their slide towards the relegation quagmire after Stoke claimed a deserved point in an uninspiring goalless stalemate here on Monday.

Mixed day in badminton

After clinching bronze medals in both women and men's team events, Bangladesh shuttlers made disappointing starts in the women and men's singles of the 11th South Asian Games at the newly-built Wooden Floor Stadium yesterday.

Del Bosque opens WC door for Guti

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque believes there may be a place for Real Madrid midfielder Guti in his World Cup squad after the 33-year-old's return to form.

Pakistan enter h'ball semis

Pakistan moved into the semifinals in men's handball of the 11th South Asian Games with a thumping 59-14 win over Sri Lanka in their first match at the Handball Stadium yesterday.

Italy choose WC base

Defending champions Italy have chosen Southdowns College, situated between Pretoria and Johannesburg, for their World Cup base, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) said on Tuesday.

Mancini joins Milan

Serie A's runaway leaders Inter Milan permitted experienced Brazilian striker Mancini to move on loan to bitter city rivals AC Milan on Monday with an option to buy him outright.

Cabanas shows improvement

Paraguay World Cup star Salvador Cabanas is showing definite signs of improvement after being shot in the head in the toilet of a trendy Mexico City bar last week, his doctor said on Monday.

'Butt too old to be PCB chairman'

Javed Miandad, a former Pakistan captain, has written a letter to the country's president, Asif Ali Zardari, in which he has criticised Ijaz Butt, the Pakistan board chairman, for being 'too old' to hold a position of such importance. Zardari, who is also the patron of the PCB, had appointed 71-year-old Butt as chairman in 2008 in place of Nasim Ashraf.

Business

GP, Banglalink team up for low-cost rural links

Mobile operators Grameenphone and Banglalink have joined forces to share network infrastructure to take services at low costs to the untapped rural market.

Machinery suppliers see better prospect for Bangladesh apparel

A brighter future for Bangladesh in global apparel business is ahead, as international textile machinery suppliers observed yesterday.

Banks experience high growth on interest income

The banking industry has been witnessing an incredible growth in net interest income (NII) since 2005 mainly because of the high interest private and foreign banks charge on loans.

Hoteliers cheered by SA Games

Hoteliers are experiencing brisk sales because of the ongoing South Asian Games, hosting more than 2,500 guests.

Western Marine inks deal with Dutch firm

Leading shipbuilder Western Marine Shipyard has signed a deal with Dutch company Winteb VOF to import equipment to build eight multipurpose cargo vessels for a German company.

Stock index crosses 5,500 points, driven by banks

Dhaka stocks ended higher yesterday, buoyed by the banking sector that led the benchmark index to cross 5,500 points for the first time.

Old-school poverty definition misleading

A UN report on World Social Situation 2010 launched in Dhaka yesterday called for rethinking the issue of poverty, as conventional approaches to measuring it, based on income or expenditure, can be 'misleading'.

IFC teams up with Supreme Seed

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has teamed up with Supreme Seed Company Ltd to increase production and supply of stress-tolerant rice and vegetables seeds.

Apparel, accessories fair begins in Chittagong tomorrow

The three-day Chittagong Apparel, Fabrics and Accessories Exposition begins in the port city tomorrow.

African 2010 growth could reach 5pc: ADB

African Development Bank (ADB) chief Donald Kaberuka late Monday said he expects the continent's economy to grow by between 4.5 and 5.0 percent this year and by some 6.0 percent in 2011.

New ICMAB president

The Institute of Cost and Management Accountants of Bangladesh (ICMAB) has elected Md Abdul Aziz as president for 2010, the institute said in a statement yesterday.

Time to change Asian psyche

A news piece from last year about an elderly Chinese man whose life savings were eaten by mice tells us two things; firstly, that the stove, as in 80-year-old Yang Lihong's case, is not exactly a safe piggy bank. More importantly, it highlights the norm among Chinese households to stash away cash with the intention of saving for a rainy day.

US firms eye Asia’s aviation market

US firms remained bullish on the Asian market as an international aerospace trade show opened Tuesday under the shadow of a US-China spat over Washington's arms sales to Taiwan.

Asian markets high

Strong US manufacturing figures boosted Asian stock markets Tuesday while Tokyo was pushed higher following an announcement from Toyota that the auto giant would start fixing recalled cars.

Oil prices extend gains

Oil prices rose on Tuesday, building on strong gains made a day earlier in the wake of higher equities, robust US manufacturing activity and fresh unrest in Nigeria's key oil-producing region.

Kuwait adopts $100b plan

Kuwait's parliament on Tuesday passed an economic development plan that authorises the government to spend 30 billion dinars (104 billion dollars) on mega projects over the next four years.

Dollar higher in Asia

The dollar was trading higher in Asian trade Tuesday after upbeat factory data from the United States eased fears over the global economic outlook.

Toyota says global expansion not to blame for recall

Toyota Motor scrambled to reassure customers Tuesday that it has not sacrificed its legendary safety to be world number one as its recalls spread to the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

German retail sales post biggest drop since euro launch

German retail sales fell by 1.8 percent last year, final figures released Tuesday by the national statistics service showed, the biggest decline since euro notes and coins were introduced in 2002.

Australia leaves rates on hold at 3.75 percent

Australia's central bank Tuesday left interest rates on hold at 3.75 percent, surprising analysts by ending a sequence of three consecutive rises, but hinted at further hikes to come.

G7 may discuss Chinese yuan at weekend: Tokyo

Finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven major economies may discuss the Chinese yuan when they meet in Canada over the weekend, Japan's finance minister said Tuesday.

Currency

Local Market FX
The USD/BDT rates were stable yesterday. Over the past week the market has been trending upwards.

Metropolitan

Bangladesh needs $9.5b annually, says expert

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday rejected climate change experts' view that the government lacks capacity to absorb the huge amount of fund for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Trial begins in Thakurgaon, Panchagarh today

Speacial Court-2 of Bangladesh Rifles will begin trials of 47 members of two BDR battalions, who are accused of mutiny, in Thakurgaon and Panchagarh today.

US envoy welcomes SC verdict

US Ambassador James F Moriarty yesterday expressed satisfaction over the Supreme Court (SC) order that dismissed the leave-to-appeal petitions challenging the High Court (HC) verdict that nullified the fifth amendment to the constitution.

Fire breaks out at central bank

A fire broke out at the corridor on the third floor of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) at Motijheel in the city yesterday morning.

Wage tough movement against treaties with India: BNP

BNP leaders at a roundtable yesterday stressed the need to mobilise public opinion to wage a tough movement against the agreements signed during the prime minister's visit to India, which go against the country's interests.

Monash University reunion Feb 7

Monash University, one of the prestigious public universities in Australia, will hold an alumni & student reunion 2010 at Le Saigon at 54 Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan # 2, in the city at 8:00pm on February 7, says a press release.

Saifuddin Manik's death anniversary today

The second death anniversary of Saifuddin Ahmed Manik, a veteran politician and former general secretary of Gono Forum, will be observed in a befitting manner today.

JCD leaders demand withdrawal of cases

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal yesterday asked the state minister for home affairs for immediate withdrawal of the cases filed against its 12 central leaders in connection with the January 18 violence at Dhaka University.

US envoy welcomes SC verdict

US Ambassador James F Moriarty yesterday expressed satisfaction over the Supreme Court (SC) order that dismissed the leave-to-appeal petitions challenging the High Court (HC) verdict that nullified the fifth amendment to the constitution.

Help ensure justice for common people

Chief Justice Md Tafazzul Islam yesterday asked the judges and lawyers to discharge their duties sincerely so that common people can receive proper justice and do not face any harassment.

MPO policy for educational institutions finalised

The government yesterday finalised the monthly pay order (MPO) policy for teachers and employees of non-government educational institutions to streamline the procedure of allocating government's share in their payroll.

Dhaka keen to send farmers to Papua New Guinea: FM

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday expressed Bangladesh's readiness to send farmers and agriculturalists to Papua New Guinea, saying that Bangladeshi farmers are successfully engaged in many countries and contributing to their economy.

Maulana Salam on eight-day remand

A Dhaka Court yesterday placed Islamic Democratic Party (IDB) convener Maulana Sheikh Abdus Salam on an eight-day remand in a case filed last year for his alleged involvement in anti-state activities.

Indian General VK Singh visits war museum

Visiting Indian General Officer Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) of Eastern Command Lieutenant General VK Singh visited the Liberation War Museum yesterday and praised the war museum effort in preservation of heritage of the War of Liberation.

Dr Mannan new DG of BRRI

Dr Mohammad Abdul Mannan, a plant breeder of the country, joined Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI) as its director general.

Miners begin strike at Barapukuria

Bangladeshi miners at Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) went on an indefinite strike from Monday midnight demanding profit bonus.

Judicial probe body formed

The government has constituted a judicial enquiry commission to investigate the offences committed during and after the 8th parliamentary election in 2001.

Pasha placed on two-day remand

Saiduzzaman Pasha, a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal cadre, was shown arrested and placed on a two-day remand yesterday in an arms case filed with Shahbagh Police Station in the capital.

Amnesty opposes death sentence

In a significant development, Amnesty International condemned last week's execution of five military men found guilty of killing Bangladesh's founding leader, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

1,420 cellphone sets seized at airport

Customs officials on Monday night seized 1,420 pieces of mobile phone sets from the parking lots in front of terminal building-2 of Zia International Airport (ZIA).

HC orders status quo in setting up dredge pipe

The High Court yesterday directed the government to maintain status quo for four weeks on setting up a dredge pipe through the national botanical garden and Dhaka Zoo.

BAF deploys contingent in UN mission

Bangladesh Air Force deployed a 104-member contingent 'Banair-1' at the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad, says an ISPR release.

Road crashes kill 3

At least three people were killed and 15 others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj and Pabna in two days.

HC passes order today

The High Court will pass order today on two petitions filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman seeking stay on the proceedings of Zia Orphanage Trust embezzlement case against them.

Monash University reunion Feb 7

Monash University, one of the prestigious public universities in Australia, will hold an alumni & student reunion 2010 at Le Saigon at 54 Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan # 2, in the city at 8:00pm on February 7, says a press release.

Thai princess to visit Gaibandha this month

Princess Maha Chakri Sirin of the royal family of Thailand and members of advisory board of Bloomberg School of Public Health of John Hopkings University, USA, will pay a visit to Gaibandha this month to see rural life and the activities under Jivita project.

National

20 Dakope villages flooded for breach in embankments

Twenty villages in Kamarkhola and Sutarkhali unions under Dakope upazila of Khulna district went under water in last two days as tidal surge overflowing Bhadra and Shibsha rivers caused breach of four embankments constructed by WAPDA.

Rubber farming on amid a volley of questions

At least 20,000 acres of land is being used for rubber cultivation in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT).

Ruling party men block rail, road in Bhairab

Awami League and Jubo league men put up barricades on rail tracks at Bhairab station and on Dhaka-Kishoreganj road yesterday to press the demand for arrest of those who attacked a Bhairab Jubo League leader on Thursday.

Unmarked speed breakers pose risk for Dinajpur commuters

Absence of adequate traffic markings on 438 kilometre roads under the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) in Dinajpur district poses risk for thousands of commuters, especially during the foggy weather.

44 sued in Kushtia, Barisal

Forty-four people have been sued on charge of killing three freedom fighters--two in Kushtia and one in Barisal--during Liberation War in 1971.

Garment owner murdered in Rajshahi

Criminals yesterday morning murdered a garment owner in West Boalia area in the city.

Two BCL faction leaders stabbed during clash over tender

Two rival BCL leaders were stabbed in a clash over dropping tender in Brahmanbaria while criminals snatched tender boxes and set them afire in Gaibandha on Monday.

Save St Martin's from coral hunters

Speakers at a meeting have urged necessary steps to protect the environment and ecology of St Martin's Island under Teknaf upazila of Cox's Bazar district.

'Suicide' in custody

An accused in a murder case allegedly committed suicide at the toilet of Keraniganj model police station early Monday.

UP chairman arrested

Kalapara police arrested Kamruzzaman alias Shahid Ambar, chairman of Nilganj Union Parishad (UP) under Kalapara upazla on Tuesday in a case of misappropriation of CI sheets.

Two jailed in arms case

A court here on Tuesday sentenced two people to 10 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) each in an arms case. The convicts are Jamal Hossain, son of Shahed Ali of Shantidhara and Sohag Mia, son of Mustafizur Rahman of Sanarpar in Siddhirganj police station. According to the prosecution, a team of Rab-11 in a drive held two men along with a foreign one-shooter gun from western side of Kanchpur Bridge on the night of April 23, 2008. Later, a case was filed with police in this connection. After examining records and witnesses, Zahurul Huq, judge of No 1 Special Tribunal, handed down the verdict in presence of the convicts.

Housewife commits 'suicide'

A newly wed woman allegedly committed suicide at Dulal village in Sundarganj upazila on Sunday night by hanging herself. The victim was identified as Sheuly, wife of Swapan of the village. Police and family sources said Swapan found Sheuly hanging from the ceiling of her bedroom on Monday morning, two days after their marriage. On information, police recovered the body and sent it to hospital morgue for autopsy. A UD case was filed in this connection.

BKB loan for fishermen

Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) has set a target to disburse Tk 123 crore loan among the fishermen in country's 10 south-western districts in the current fiscal. Official sources said the loan disbursement has already been started and would continue till June this year. This loan facility would increase fish production and income of the fishermen in this region. Of the total money, Tk 2 crore will be disbursed in each district of Magura, Narail, Meherpur and Chuadanga while Tk 9 crore in Jhenidah, Tk 8 crore in Jessore, Tk 33 crore in Khulna, Tk 29 crore in Satkhira, Tk 32 crore in Bagerhat and Tk 3 crore in Kushtia district.

Debate contest at RU

A four-day long inter-university debate competition titled 'bdjobs.com-BFDF First National Debate Championship' will start at Rajshahi University (RU) from February 4. In association with Bangladesh Debate Federation (BDF), the Business Studies Faculty Debating Forum (BFDF) of the university will organise the programme at Dean's Complex. A total of 40 teams including 32 from public and private universities will participate. RU pro-vice chancellor Prof Muhammad Nurullah will inaugurate the programme at Kazi Nazrul Islam auditorium. RTV and the daily Samakal will be the media partner of the programme while Bdjobs.com will give technical support.

NOTICE

Due to unavoidable circumstances, our regular item CROSSWORD has not been appearing for the last few days. It will resume in a day or two. We regret any inconvenience.
Sports Editor

Letters

Save Karnaphuli

The Karnaphuli River, considered as the lifeline to business activities for both the hill people and the plain land population in the country's far east region, is dying due to mindless encroachment, dumping of industrial and clinical wastes and lack of maintenance.

Peace in Middle East

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said recently that Israel must have a presence in the West Bank even after a peace agreement is achieved, dealing a fresh blow to the visiting US Middle East envoy's effort to restart peace talks.

Prevent misuse of gas

It is becoming clear day-by-day that gas reserve in Bangladesh will be finished within a few years. One of the main reasons of this rapid depletion of gas reserve is the misuse of gas in every sector. People as well as government are equally responsible for this terrible situation. Too many people do not turn off their gas burners to save a matchstick!

Global warming

Global warming is now major issue. It can only be countered if people stop pollution, stop harmful gas emissions by reducing the large number of industries that emit harmful gases including sulphur dioxide, carbon mono-oxide and also many other gases that severely affect the environment. People of the world should at least take small actions to reduce the bad effects of global warming. If no one takes any action against global warming then Bangladesh and the countries in the world will suffer a lot and the condition of those countries may become unmanageable.

Poverty

According to BBC poll, poverty is still the world's biggest problem. In your "Star business”, the news was published on 18 January, and drew my attention.

BNP's posture

The Secretary General of the BNP and his party members are talking about selling of Bangladesh to India, ever since India and Bangladesh signed a joint declaration following the visit of Sheikh Hasina. They know it very well that a country cannot be sold in a market. Therefore, if the BNP takes the liberty to spread lies, they must be prepared to listen to any kind of allegation against them in response to their wild and untrue allegations against the government.

Low cost hydropower

A write-up on the interesting subject was published in a local English daily on January 21st. However, the writer was not very clear on the subject matter. Were these related to conventional hydro-power plants across the rivers Sangu, Matamuhuri and Mohamaya; or these power plants were to be driven by river currents, and located on barges or on shore? It left the write-up rather difficult to understand! The exact nature of the proposed plants needed clearer definition.

Indo-Pak borders

Reference to the border skirmishes between India and Pakistan. These two prominent neighbours of South Asia should revive the peace process. It is in the interest of both the countries to stop the blame game for political benefits and come to the table for talks. Both the neighbours share common culture and history, which should help them to ease tension and move forward towards progress and prosperity. A vast majority of people are keen to have a peaceful relationship with each other. Quest for peace will help reduce the vast budgets allocated for defence and the same can be used for other purposes like eradication of poverty and illiteracy, electricity, clean water etc.

Distorting history

We are appalled by the news that the Awami League government has changed facts relating to the history of independence in the new edition of Paribash Parichiti Samaj, a school textbook for Class V.

Poor cricket

I believe Sewhag was absolutely right when he said the Bangladesh was an ordinary side. Look at the way Ashraful batted in the second Test. I would like to drill it into the minds of the BCB for the last time that "ASHRAFUL WILL NEVER CHANGE". I am not a cricket player, but even I have enough common sense to realize that Bangladesh were four early wickets down and survival was the key. How many times has he gotten himself out like this? It's no use swinging your bat around in anger and cursing. What he should have done was take off his helmet and given himself a good whack in the head! It is because of people like Ashraful that Sehwag stated that Bangladesh is an ordinary side. Ashraful does not care about his team and plays for his own performance. I also disagree with Jamie Siddons that there are no replacements for Ashraful. What about Aftab Ahmad, Alok Kapali or the other ICL players? I was also surprised to see the way Shakib played a wide delivery to get himself out. This is not expected from a top international player.

Politics in cricket

In the last IPL auction we saw that top all rounder Shakib al-Hasan and all Pakistani players were neglected by the IPL selectors. The quality of these players cannot be questioned.

My lost letter!

This is to thank The Daily Star for its dedicated website. Four years back my first-ever letter to any newspaper was published in The Daily Star on its 6 October, 2006, issue. Ever since that letter was published, people's outlook about me and my own outlook about life totally changed quite a lot. But unfortunately, I completely forgot the day and the month of the publication and was confused about the year, while I have been in great need of that Daily Star issue recently. As I forgot the day and month of the publication, I was rummaging through the old issues of The Daily Star but to no avail. Tired, I was almost giving up the hope of retrieving the letter anymore when I luckily came across the search box and thus, to my utter happiness, found what I was looking for so long. Mere words are not enough to express my rapture upon looking at my old letter.

Royal Bengal Tiger

It is very pathetic that we don't hesitate to kill our national animal “The Royal Bengal Tiger.” I was struck with wonder to hear that at a village in Sathkhira the local people killed our pride “The Royal Bengal Tiger”. In fact, the forest department personnel are not skilled enough, therefore when a tricky situation arises things go beyond control. Moreover, the way we are cutting down trees and destroying forests, the animals will soon have no place.

Behind gas crisis

Some insiders tell us different stories about Bapex and BGFCL's capacity and performances. We learnt that in the last 37 years Bapex drilled only 16 wells.

Hindering passengers' movement

I was travelling from ZIA by GF249/14th January on my way to London, Heathrow via Bahrain. Scheduled departure time of the flight was 2000l.t. The flight was fairly over booked resulting in gradation and adjustment of overflow of passengers. Besides some of the passengers also do report later than 45 minutes before the departure time. So airlines at times do have to close check-in counters late for fear of losing revenue. Moreover, most airlines are cash strapped these days. However at about 1920l.t. when I was being checked in, a group of 5-6 checked-in passengers turned up desperately at the counter after being refused entry at the gate by the airport security staff, under instructions of the shift immigration officer in charge, because of their late reporting. I got startled. The GF traffic officer at first rebuked them for late reporting at the gate but later on pacified them by saying to go back and wait near the gate.

Smoking

Smoking is not only hazardous for human health, but also detrimental for the atmosphere of our very own planet where we all live in. Smoking brings no benefit, it only causes damage to health and environment and is nothing but squandering of money. However, a recent survey reveals 23 percent of the adults above 15 years of age smoke. It indicates that the country's young generation is endangered.

US foreign policy

After one year of running the world's strongest country, President Barack Obama has now understood that it is not easy to change the US foreign policy.

EU opposes death penalty

A killer must be taken to justice and get punishment as per the law of the country, even if that punishment is death penalty.

Abolishment of visa

This is with reference to Prof. Md. Nurul Absar's letter published on the 25th of January, proposing abolishment of a visa system between India & Bangladesh.

Duty free cars

In the on-line poll survey, the readers opined against the duty free car privilege to be given to the MPs. I think the government should take note of this poll survey and reconsider its decision regarding giving the privilege to the MPs. If the government ignores the result of survey, it may have to pay the price later on, as the survey result is the reflection of people's mind.

International

China against Obama-Dalia Lama meet

Any meeting between President Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama would harm bilateral relations, China warned yesterday while repeating Beijing's refusal to discuss Tibet's status with the spiritual leader's envoys.

Egypt welcomes Hamas readiness for unity with Fatah

Egypt yesterday welcomed statements by Hamas leaders that they were ready to seal a unity deal with the rival Fatah faction but said Cairo's blueprint for Palestinian reconciliation was not up for negotiations.

33 infants' parents 'reclaim' their children

The 33 infants and children that an American Christian group tried to smuggle out of quake-hit Haiti are being reunited with their families, the US-based aid group now caring for them said yesterday.

Mexico drug gangs kill 46 in three days

A spasm of bloodletting by drug gangs claimed at least 46 lives over a long weekend in Mexico, including at least 16 young people gunned down at a high school party, officials said.

Iran blasts US missile plan for Gulf

Iran yesterday criticized the US move to boost the defensive missiles system in Gulf Arab countries against potential strikes by Tehran, calling it a political ploy to increase American military presence in the region.

No need to prove leader alive: Pak Taliban

The Pakistani Taliban said yesterday that there is no need to release proof that the group's leader is alive to refute reports that he died from injuries sustained in a US drone strike in mid-January.

Lankan Tamil suspects' rights violated: Rights group

Sri Lanka should end the indefinite detention of some of the 11,000 people held in its custody for suspected links with the Tamil Tiger rebels, a leading rights group said yesterday.

Republican, Democrat hopefuls target Obama Senate seat

Republican and Democratic hopefuls will duke it out in a primary election yesterday for the chance to win a potent symbolic prize: President Barack Obama's former US Senate seat.

Obama proposes substantial jump in aid to Pakistan

US President Barack Obama has proposed a USD 3.2 billion assistance for Pakistan for fiscal 2011, a substantial jump in American aid to that country.

4 Nato soldiers killed in Afghanistan

Four Nato soldiers have been killed in bomb attacks in Afghanistan, defence officials say.

President Zuma criticised over love child report

A South African presidential spokesman yesterday called a newspaper story that the country's polygamist leader had fathered a child out of wedlock "a private, personal issue" without confirming or denying the report.

Ugandans sue UK over colonial era crimes

Ten Ugandans are suing the British government for crimes committed by colonial officers during a late 19th century war in the northwest of the country, the group's lawyer told AFP yesterday.

Shah Rukh Khan stands by his IPLremarks, says India a welcoming place

Under attack from Shiv Sena for his remarks on the IPL fiasco, Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan said he was not apologetic for favouring the inclusion of Pakistani players and termed the activities of the party as "undemocratic".

Rahul slams Sena, says India for all Indians

Every part of India belongs to every Indian, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi said yesterday while hitting out at the Shiv Sena for its 'Mumbai for Marathis' slogan and asserted that he would not remain silent if migrant workers in Maharashtra were subjected to violence.

Suu Kyi may be freed during polls period: Thai FM

Aung San Suu Kyi may be freed during the national elections in Myanmar, Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya said yesterday, predicting that the polls could be held during the second half of 2010.

Death toll reaches 24 as Karachi continues to burn

The death toll in continuous political violence in Karachi has touched 24 with six more deaths being reported from different part of the city.

US jury considers Dr Aafia charge

Prosecutors have said a Pakistani woman accused of shooting at US agents was determined to kill them, in the closing arguments of her trial in New York.

US terror suspects in Pakistan allege FBI torture

Five American terrorism suspects alleged yesterday in a message on tissue paper that they were tortured by the FBI and Pakistani police trying to frame them, the latest wrinkle in a case that has added to sensitivities in US-Pakistani relations.

Arts & Entertainment

Generating awareness among the masses

With an aim to generate awareness against social injustice, the weeklong National Street Theatre Festival has begun at the Central Shaheed Minar premises on February 1. Organised by Bangladesh Group Theatre Federation (BGTF), the festival will continue till February 7. Thirty-five theatre troupes from the Dhaka city are taking part at this year's festival. Moreover, the organisers plan to arrange the festival around the country throughout the month of February.

An opera of many dimensions

This was one Tagore opera where it was impossible to fault the performers. For the 15-member cast was a motley group of amateurs, ranging from bankers, architects to journalists and social workers. They belonged to the group Tagoreans- UK and the “dramatic opera” in question was “Valmiki Pratibha” (The genius of Valmiki).

“Moving the fair to another venue is out of the question”--Selina Hossain

'Ekushey Padak' winning author Selina Hossain vehemently objects to the idea of relocating 'Ekushey Boi Mela' (book fair) from Bangla Academy premises.

A conclave of poets

With the slogan “Notun Kabita, Notun Samoy” (new poems, new times), the two-day long 24th Jatiya Kabita Utsab (National Poetry Festival) concluded yesterday at the Dhaka University Library premises.

Pitha makers reap a bonanza

Winter in Bangladesh and it's time for an amazing array of delectable pithas. The winner hands' down is the hot delicate bhapa pitha, the art of making which has been come down the generations, thanks to many creative mothers.

Commemorative festival at Al Deen’s ancestral village

In honour of 'Natyacharya' Selim Al Deen, a three-day festival will be held at the theatre icon's ancestral village Shenerkhil under Shonagazi upazilla of Feni, says a press release. Organised by Selim Al Deen Mela Udjapan Jatiyo Parshad, the festival will be held from February 4 to 6. The festival will feature theatre, music, film screening and traditional performing arts.

“Bappa Mazumder featuring Nancy Rahman”

The launching ceremony of Bappa Mazumder's latest work, "Bappa Mazumder featuring Nancy Rahman" was held at a city hotel, recently. Bappa Mazumder has done the music composition and arrangement for the album.

OP-ED

'Ensuring our security is a must'

Anisul Islam Mahmud is a presidium member, Jatiya Party. He is a former foreign minister and is currently the chief of the parliamentary standing committee on expatriate welfare and overseas employment ministry. Rashidul Hasan took the interview.

Behind the glitz

DUBAI'S 100-storey Burj Khalifa stands as the word's tallest bulding, with the world's highest swimming pool and perhaps also the world's highest mosque. Amidst the fanfare, the legendary tower has finally been thrown open, with its majestic doors accessible to the public. Its golf course alone will require over four million gallons of water a day.

Summer of 1965

THERE is a duality but not a contradiction running through the complexities of the India-Pakistan relationship. Friday's newspapers, for instance, reported a confrontation between Home Minister P. Chidambaram and Prime Minister Yousaf Gilani: the former is convinced that Islamabad is protecting the widely-acknowledged principal architect of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, Hafiz Saeed, chief of the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba. Gilani thinks India has not supplied sufficient evidence against Saeed. Chidambaram counters this with, "What can I do if a government closes its eyes to the evidence?"



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