The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, July 23, 2014


News of: Friday, 5th of February, 2010

Front Page

13 lakh acres govt land gobbled up

Around 13 lakh acres of land has been grabbed across the country, two ministers told parliament yesterday.

Road safety held hostage

Reckless and callous driving of rundown city-service buses is an everyday hazard for Dhaka dwellers and commuters and with law enforcement agencies not being strict enough, it puts people's lives and safety at risk.

BNP returns to JS next week

The BNP-led opposition is returning to parliament next week after skipping the House for 63 consecutive sittings since last June.

Demolition starts with glass walls

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha tore down the outer glass walls of the top four floors of 10-storey Jamuna Future Park Shopping Complex yesterday.

600 trees felled for shrimp farm

Over 600 keora and bain trees at a mangrove forest in the district’s Chakoria upazila have been felled to make way for a shrimp enclosure.

Big plan on war weapon purchase

The government yesterday unveiled its plans and ongoing processes of purchasing weapons of war and armoured vehicles to enhance and consolidate combat proficiency of Bangladesh Army, Navy and Air Force.

HC orders for new warrant of precedence

The High Court yesterday directed the government to issue a new Warrant of Precedence for the republic's officers, giving district judges and equivalent judicial officers precedence over the chiefs of armed forces, and government secretaries.

Justice for poor

New Chief Justice-designate Mohammad Fazlul Karim yesterday said he will try his best during his eight-month tenure to ensure access to justice for all, in order to establish the rule of law.

10,000 workers to return from Oman

Around 10,000 Bangladeshi workers having irregular status in Oman are expected to return home soon taking advantage of the Gulf country's amnesty that first time allowed them to go back to their motherlands without paying any penalties.

Man dies in custody

An employee of Apollo Hospitals, who was detained in prison for suspected link with two robberies in the capital's Pallabi area, was allegedly tortured to death by Rab Wednesday.

PDB finally signs three rental power contracts

The Power Development Board (PDB) after many months of delay signed contracts for three rental power projects totalling 265 megawatt capacity with two local companies yesterday.

PM's visit to Kuwait starts on Feb 7

Financial assistance for construction of Padma Bridge, manpower export, and expansion of bilateral trade and investment will dominate the talks during Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's 3-day visit to Kuwait, starting on Sunday.

BDR, BSF trade fire

BDR and BSF traded over a hundred gunshots on Jaintapur, Sripur and Tamabil borders yesterday from 4:00pm to 6:00pm after the Indian border guards took a Bangladesh Rifles jawan to their territory from near Jaintapur border around 10:15am.

Schoolboy run over

A five-year-old schoolboy was killed and his seven-year old elder brother seriously injured in a road accident at Hotapara in the district yesterday.

DU teachers, students for stern action

Teachers and students of Dhaka University yesterday demanded exemplary punishment to the people responsible for the death of Abubakar Siddique, a student of the university's Islamic History and Culture department.

9 killed in bridal-party bus plunge

At least nine people, six children and three women, of a bridal party were killed and three others injured in a road accident at Sadhurhat in Chittagong district yesterday afternoon.

12 lakh to take SSC exams from Feb 11

A total of 1,206,019 examinees from 26,192 educational institutions across the country are going to take part in the upcoming SSC and equivalent examinations scheduled to begin on February 11.

Govt steps up efforts to bring them back

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government has stepped up efforts to bring back the six fugitive killers of Bangabandhu using diplomatic channels and Interpol help.

Girl takes her life after abuse

A schoolgirl killed herself at her village home after allegedly being abused by a group of youths at Mushuriapara village in Ishwardi upazila here on Wednesday.

Comilla Medical College shut after BCL clash

Comilla Medical College was declared closed yesterday until February 12 following a BCL factional clash on Wednesday night that left at least seven activists wounded.

Local golfers shine

After dictating terms at the National Shooting Range for the last two days, Bangladesh discovered a new ground of gold at the Kurmitola Golf Course where Jamal Hossain Mollah, Dulal Hossain and Sakhawat Hossain Sohel won the golf team event gold of the 11th South Asian Games yesterday.

Over 300 new books come out

Publishers brought out a number of new books yesterday hoping for an increase in the sale of books on the first weekend since the book fair began.

US under secy for public affairs due tomorrow

Judith A McHale, US Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, arrives here tomorrow on a three-day visit.

Editorial

Fresh violence at Dhaka University

THE death of a student of Dhaka University following a fresh spate of violence on the campus only reinforces the case for tough action toward restoring discipline in academia. Only a few days ago we had commented on the growing tendency of students towards violence and asked the authorities to do everything that needed to be done to roll back this slide to disorder. Unfortunately, the slide has continued, as demonstrated by the violence at DU and at institutions like Dhaka College, where the simple process of admission has become hostage at the hands of student politics. It is our considered opinion that unless drastic and foolproof steps are taken to restore a normal academic atmosphere on the campuses, things may spiral out of control and leave citizens helpless in the face of it all.

Citizens' monitoring of public procurement

THE planning minister's frank admission that graft gobbles up 40 to 50 per cent of the public funds allocated against any procurement contract only confirms the public perception on the issue. Since public procurement involves about 70 per cent of the expenditures under the Annual Development Programme (ADP), the amount of money involved in it is also huge. Naturally, unless the rules of procurement are strict and foolproof, one should not be too surprised if a significant sum of the money leaks through into corrupt hands.

All in

WHAT is the significance of the recent decision by the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court to uphold the judgement of the High Court, that the 5th amendment to the constitution was illegal and therefore null and void?

Blair lied … thousands died

FORMER British Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared before a British inquiry panel last Friday to defend his decision to go to war in Iraq. What an unrepentant Blair blared in his six hours of testimony was nothing we didn't hear already. Saddam was a menace, and it was necessary to deal with him after 9/11. We heard that one before. Then Blair offered a little iddy biddy speck of dust concession. Mistakes were made both before and after the invasion of Iraq, he said. We know that for sure.

Sports

It's golfers after the shooters

Bangladesh won their fifth gold on the seventh day of the 11th South Asian Games yesterday when golfers Jamal Hossain Mollah, Dulal Hossain and Sakhawat Hossain Sohel put behind a tragedy to clinch the team event gold at the Kurmitola Golf Course.

Again it's India test

Bangladesh will be looking to put their SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship nightmare behind when the hosts take on India in the first semifinal of the 11th South Asian Games at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

Shakib optimistic

On the back of a thrashing defeat in the lone Twenty20 match, the Tigers start their one-day campaign against New Zealand at McLean Park in Napier today.

Indians reign in shooting

Bangladesh almost fired blank on the third day of the 11th South Asian Games shooting competition as India dominated the proceedings by winning all four gold medals at the National Shooting Range in Gulshan yesterday.

H'ball final eludes

Bangladesh's hopes of playing the final of handball in the 11th South Asian Games were shattered as they lost their semifinal match against India at the Handball Stadium on Thursday.

Women bring kabaddi silver

Bangladesh had to be content with silver in women's kabaddi of the 11th South Asian Games when they conceded a 34-20 defeat to India in the final at the Outer Stadium Kabaddi Court yesterday.

Sorrow turns into strength

It could have been moment of extreme happiness for Kazi Mohiuddin Khokon had he lived to witness the great success of his son. But it wasn't to be so as the father of Shakhawat Hossain Sohel passed just hours before his son won the gold in golf's team event of the 11th South Asian Games at the Kurmilota Golf Course yesterday.

Hosts keep hopes alive

Bangladesh bulldozed Maldives to brighten their chances of playing the final of the 11th South Asian Games cricket at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

More misery for Pompey

Cash-strapped Portsmouth remained rooted to the bottom of the English Premier League after Jonathan Greening scored the winner for Fulham in a 1-0 victory at Craven Cottage here on Wednesday to end the hosts run of five successive league defeats.

Batsmen rule Day 3

Dhaka took a 196-run lead over Chittagong with five second innings wickets remaining at close on the third day in their first phase fourth round match of the National Cricket League at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra yesterday.

Inter ride on Milito

Diego Milito scored the only goal of the game to give Inter Milan a 1-0 win over Fiorentina and a slight advantage in their Coppa Italia semifinal after the first leg at the San Siro on Wednesday.

Togo protests ban

Togo has filed a legal complaint against the African Football Confederation (CAF) for failing to protect its team from a deadly attack as it travelled to last month's Africa Cup of Nations, legal sources said Thursday.

SL AWOL

An unprecedented event took place in women's football event of the 11th South Asian Games when the Sri Lankan side caught a flight back home instead of appearing at the ground to play their last match against Pakistan. The Sri Lankans were scheduled to play against Pakistan at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium at yesterday 9am, but they never showed up. Later it was learnt that they had went straight to the airport to catch a flight back home.

Hiddink vows to see out Russia deal

Russia head coach Guus Hiddink moved to quell speculation about his short-term future on Wednesday by saying that he intends to see out his contract with the Russian Football Union (RFU).

India's clean sweep in badminton

Indian shuttlers maintained their dominance in subcontinent when they bagged all five golds on the concluding day of badminton in the 11 South Asian Games at the newly-built Wooden Floor Stadium yesterday.

V'ball gold too India's

India clinched gold in volleyball of the 11th South Asian Games with a 3-1 win over Pakistan in the final at Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Terry silent ahead of meeting

John Terry will discuss his future as England captain with manager Fabio Capello before making any public comment, the player's spokesman said on Wednesday.

Duo extend contracts

Rising Bayern Munich stars Thomas Mueller and Holger Badstuber, two of the Bundesliga's brightest prospects, have extended their contracts until 2014, it was announced Thursday.

SA exude confidence

South Africa will draw confidence from their record on the subcontinent as they seek to replace India at the top of the world rankings in their two-Test series starting Saturday.

India need a draw to remain No. 1

India need only draw with South Africa in the upcoming two-match series to retain the No. 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings. But if they lose the series, being billed as a world championship bout, they stand to lose the US$175,000 the ICC gives to the team that is on top come April 1.

Defoe fires Spurs

Jermain Defoe spared his own blushes and those of Tottenham Hotspur with a hattrick at Elland Road to help Harry Redknapp's side overcome brave Leeds and book a place in the FA Cup fifth round at the second time of asking with a 3-1 win here on Wednesday.

Yousuf vows to stay

Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf vowed Thursday to fight on as skipper despite a hint from the country's cricket chief that a new captain would be appointed after Test and one-day drubbings in Australia.

Bravo out, Hinds in

West Indies have suffered another injury blow with confirmation the all-rounder Dwayne Bravo will miss all the engagements against Australia this month. Bravo broke his right thumb while playing for Victoria in Australia's domestic Twenty20 competition and will return to Trinidad in a bid to be fit for the series against Zimbabwe starting in the Caribbean on February 28.

Glenn gets his love again

Australian cricket legend Glenn McGrath has found love again, 18 months after his wife's tragic death from breast cancer, a report said on Thursday.

Business

LCD televisions beam with sales

LCD televisions are making their presence felt in relatively well-off urban homes, spurred by dropping prices over the last two years.

Inflation, FDI are major areas to focus on

The government will have to cope with some downside risks, including rising inflation and declining foreign direct investment (FDI), to achieve the targeted growth rate of six percent or above in the current fiscal year, according to a leading chamber.

Two companies get nod for direct listing

The stockmarket regulator yesterday gave the green light to two private companies for direct listing on condition of using the book building method for price discovery of shares.

Biman opens non-stop London flight tomorrow

Biman is set to fly with a new look by opening non-stop Dhaka-London flights, which will save travellers time, officials said yesterday.

BB suggests training for bank directors

Bangladesh Bank asked directors of all scheduled banks to take training on banking rules and regulations to efficiently execute their duties, said a circular issued yesterday.

Apparel, accessories fair kicks off in Ctg

A three-day apparel, fabrics and accessories fair started in Chittagong yesterday with a call for expanding Bangladesh's garment market to help the government implement its electoral pledge for employment of at least one in each family.

Bangladesh, India hold customs meeting

An emergency meeting of a joint group of customs of Bangladesh and India was held at no-man's land here Thursday, aiming to resolve import-export problems.

Roadshows raise hope for multibillion dollar investment in energy

Roadshows in New York and Singapore have called for investment worth $7 billion in Bangladesh's energy and power sector, the prime minister's energy adviser said yesterday.

Trade with Germany crosses 2b euros in 2009

Trade between Bangladesh and Germany increased by 16 percent in the first eleven months of 2009 defying the global economic downturn, said a statement from German embassy yesterday.

Economic governance index likely

A unique economic governance index (EGI) is likely to be formulated in Bangladesh in a few months to improve the business climate for the private sector and encourage balanced development in regions.

Rupali teams up with BRAC Bank for easy remittance

Rupali Bank Ltd has joined ELDORADO and OMNIBUS shared networks, two electronic fund transfer systems initiated by BRAC Bank Ltd, says a statement released yesterday.

IBFB team leaves for Bhutan today

A 24-member trade delegation from the International Business Forum of Bangladesh (IBFB) will leave Dhaka today on a four-day trip to Bhutan, said the organisation in a statement yesterday.

Shell profits plunge

Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell reported a plunge in annual profits on Thursday, blaming a weak global economy and an uncertain outlook as it axed 1,000 jobs and earmarked more assets for disposal.

Oil lower

Oil prices fell on Thursday, extending the previous day's losses, as weak equities markets and rising US crude inventories sparked energy demand concerns, analysts said.

Toyota weighs on Tokyo stocks

The crisis surrounding Toyota's recall of millions of cars around the world weighed on Japanese stocks on Thursday as profit-taking also sent regional markets lower.

Corporate Briefs

MAKSONSPIN
Unaudited quarterly accounts for the first quarter to December 31, 2009 shows the company made profit after tax of Tk 44.21 million with EPS of Tk 1.01 against Tk 30.52 million and Tk 0.70 respectively for the same period of the previous year. Trading of the company's shares will also remain suspended on Sunday, the record date.

Metropolitan

PM vents anger as waste dumping continues in city rivers

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has vented serious discontent as dropping industrial and domestic wastes into the rivers in and around the capital still continued while the government is cleaning up riverbeds of the Buriganga and the Turag.

Injured mother wants to see Hamim's body

Bedridden Sonia Sheikh woke up only to ask her husband to take her to the body of their only son Hamim Sheikh, who was crushed under the wheels of a speeding bus in front of Willes Little Flower School Wednesday morning.

ACC okays 10 cases, 26 charge sheets

The Anti-Corruption Commission has approved filing of ten cases and submission of 26 charge sheets last month against a total of 60 people including former director general of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute.

Campus incidents isolated

The untoward happenings at different educational institutes were termed yesterday "isolated ones" by Home Minister Sahara Khatun and she suggested watching the actions the government is going to take regarding the incidents.

Court rejects SQ Chowdhury's criminal appeal against Sahara

A Dhaka court yesterday summarily rejected a criminal appeal filed by BNP standing committee member Salauddin Quader Chowdhury against Home Minister Sahara Khatun for calling him war criminal.

SC upholds stay on bail to OC Rafiq

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday upheld its earlier order that stayed a High Court (HC) verdict granting bail to suspended officer in-charge (OC) of Motijheel Police Station AKM Rafiqul Islam in the sensational Kamrul Islam Momin murder case.

Domestic help found murdered in city flat

A slaughtered body of a woman was recovered by Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police from a flat at Indira road in the city on Wednesday night.

Tk 1090cr plan the on cards

The government will adopt a master plan with a projected expenditure of Tk 1090 crore for development of forest resources across the country, State Minister for Environment and Forest Hasan Mahmu told the House yesterday.

Int'l Mother Language Institute set to open this month

The International Mother Language Institute is set to open this month, nine years after the construction work of the institute building began.

Judicial probe demanded

Leaders of five rights organisations at a press conference at National Press Club yesterday demanded judicial enquiry into the killing of Bangladesh Krishak Sangram Samity President Saifullah Laskar.

S Arabia to provide $45m loan

Saudi Arabia will provide a loan amounting to 45 million US dollars to Bangladesh for the construction of Shitalakhaya Bridge, says a press release of The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia yesterday.

Japan keen to support power sector

Japan is keen to provide support to Bangladesh after completion of formulating the ongoing comprehensive power development master plan for attaining stable power supply up to 2030.

Build violence-free society for children

Speakers at a national consultation yesterday underscored the need to change the attitude towards children to prevent violence against them, which are taking place in diverse nature and scale in society.

'40pc cancers can be prevented'

The World Cancer Day was observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe yesterday with the theme 'Cancer can be prevented too'.

Dhaka Zoo beefs up biosecurity

Biosecurity measures on Dhaka Zoo have been strengthened in the wake of fresh outbreak of bird flu.

Call to unite against fanaticism

Leaders of different political parties and socio-cultural organisations yesterday called on the countrymen to unite to step up the movement against fundamentalism and militancy in order to build a secular Bangladesh.

Court frames charges against Gayeswar

A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against BNP standing committee member Gayeswar Chandra Roy in a case for amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information from the Anti-Corruption Commission.

Barapukuria miners join work

The agitating Bangladeshi miners of Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) joined their work Wednesday midnight after 48 hours of their strike over profit bonus.

Tea workers demand revival of elected body

Tea workers at a human chain programme yesterday demanded revival of their elected workers' union cancelling the ad hoc committee led by former president.

Govt move to evict slum dwellers stayed

The High Court (HC) yesterday stayed for four months the government move to evict Shahidertek slum dwellers at Sher-e Bangla Nagar in the city's Aagargaon.

Fire breaks out at garments factory

Production section and godown of a garments factory were gutted in a fire in Gazipur Sadar yesterday.

EU to provide Tk 95 cr for land reforms

Bangladesh and the European Union signed an agreement worth 10 million Euros, equivalent to Tk 95 crore, for a project aimed at ensuring the people's rights to land.

Zeba Food owner jailed for 15 days

A mobile court yesterday sentenced a businesswoman to 15 days' imprisonment for selling and distribution of soya bean and mustard oil of Zeba brand without BSTI licence and illegal use of its standard marks.

National

PM to offer doa at Bangabandhu Mausoleum today

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will attend a milad and special doa mahfil at Bangabandhu mausoleum mosque at Tungipara after Juma prayers today to express gratitude to the almighty Allah for execution of the verdict in Bangabandhu murder case.

The art of teaching art without any teacher

Students of oriental arts at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday laid a siege to the administrative building demanding recruitment of teachers for the subject.

Villagers go into hiding as victim's brother sues 500

Five hundred people, 41 of them identified, have been sued in connection with Wednesday's clash that left one killed and 100 others injured in Pakhiteki area near Haripur Bazar of Jaintapur upazila.

Villagers kill six tigers in 11 yrs

At least six Royal Bengal Tigers were killed in the adjoining areas of the Sundarbans in last 11 years when the wild animal entered localities in search of food.

One to die, two siblings get life for murders

A Bagerhat court yesterday sentenced a man to death for murder while two brothers got life term in a double murder case in Joypurhat.

Common sense is not always common

A section of Power Development Board (PDB) staff are engaged in giving power connection for irrigation pumps during the ongoing boro season with bare wires set in bamboo poles in remote areas of the district, much to the risk of accident.

Housewife murdered

A housewife was murdered allegedly by her husband yesterday for dowry at Gudhibari village in Shahzadpur upazila. Police and victim's family sources said, Shafiqul Islam, 30, of the village married Morium Khatun, 25, daughter of Abdul Mannan of Ghorzan village of the same upazila about five years ago. Since their marriage, Shafiqul had been demanding a big sum of dowry from her father. But her father failed to pay the amount due to poverty. On the fateful day, the couple locked in a quarrel as Shafiqul pressed for dowry from her father. As Marium refused to bring the money, she was beaten to death. After the incident, Shafiqul and his other family members went into hiding. On information, police went to the spot and recovered the body. Later, the body was sent to Sirajganj Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy. A case was lodged with Shahzadpur police station in this connection.

Bullet-hit AL leader dies

An Awami League (AL) leader who received severe bullet injuries on Tuesday died at Enayetpur Khwaja Yunus Ali Medical College and Hospital yesterday morning. Victim Shahzahan Ali Bhuyian, 35, of Rukshi village in Shahzadpur upazila and also president of ward AL was shot at around 10:30 pm by a rival group while he was returning home from a village market. A case was lodged with Shahzadpur police station in this connection. But none was arrested till filing of this report yesterday afternoon.

Outlaw held in Khulna

Police arrested an outlaw on Wednesday from Dumuria bus stand of Khulna district. Arrestee Habibur Rahman,28, alias 'Bomaru' Habi is son of Abdur Rahman Biswas of Dumuria Sadar union. He is a bomber belonging to Janajuddho faction of outlawed PBCP and was so long wanted in seven criminal cases filed against him with Dumuria police station, police said. Police further said 'Bomaru' Habib had participated in several Tablig sessions with a view to evading arrest in the face of special operations by law enforcing agencies. Police on Wednesday also arrested two notorious pirates of the Sundarbans from Betbunia village under Paikgacha upazila. They are Abdul Majid Goldar and his cousin Asadul Goldar. Police recovered from them a home-made pipe gun and two cartridges

1 killed, 30 hurt in clash

A man was killed and 30 injured in a bloody clash between two rival groups at Bashkalipur village in Sadar upazila yesterday morning. The victim was identified as Based Miah, 30, son of late Hasen Ali of the village. Locals said there was a longstanding conflict between the two rival groups - one led by Renu Mia and another by Jalal Mia over establishing supremacy in the area. Police quoting witnesses said, an altercation ensued between the two groups over a trifling matter at about 11:30 am. Later, both the groups equipped with lethal weapons attacked each other that left Based of Jalal's group killed on the spot and 30 others injured from both sides.

Robbers held in Noakhali

Police arrested seven suspected robbers and recovered two sharp weapons in Darussalam Madrassah area on Basurhat-Chaprashirhat road in Companiganj upazila early Wednesday. The arrestees are Mainuddin Rubel, 24, Saiful Islam Rubel, 25, Parveez, 22, Abdul Hashem alias Kaka, 25, Sohag, 23, Ismail Hossain Rubel, 22, and Harun, 31. Police said when a police team was patrolling Basurhat-Chaprashirhat road late at night in an auto-rickshaw, a gang of robbers swooped on their vehicle. Police chased the robbers and shot four rounds of bullets when they tried to flee. Locals rushed in hearing the gunshots and caught the seven robbers.

Letters

Ekushey Book Fair

Ekushey Book Fair is now a popular festival in the life of people. It is held only once in a year. Ekushey Book Fair or Amor Ekushey Grontho Mela (“Book Fair of the Immortal 21st"), commonly known as Ekushey Boi Mela (“Book Fair of the 21st"), is the national book fair of Bangladesh. It takes place over the entire month of February every year, and is devoted to the martyrs who died on 21 February 1952 in a demonstration calling for recognition of Bengali as one of the state languages of Pakistan.

Global warming and weather

This winter, most countries have had cold waves and harsher winters. Also, the ice in Himalayan and Alps Mountain range and high mountains in North America and Canada have melted faster than normal. Similarly, there has been considerable melting of ice in the Artic and Antarctic regions. Sea passages in the Artic and Antarctic oceans are now open for navigation, because of this accelerated melting of ice. Cargo sea vessels from the North German port of Hamburg are now safely sailing through the North West Passage, to Canada and north US ports, which earlier remained ice bound at this time of the year! This apparent anomaly of the weather may be explained by basic principles of physics.

Women's seats in buses

Many campaigns have been launched to establish the rights of women, but most of the campaigns remain unsuccessful due to our lack of willingness to establish their rights in the true sense.

Employ beggars

I believe that the government could employ beggars and have them clean up the city. They could collect as many plastic bags and as much trash as possible and turn them in for food, cash or both, depending upon how much rubbish they turn in. This will also keep them busy and do something useful rather than being a menace to motorists on the roads and endangering traffic. There are many beggars, especially women who are not physically disabled, and it's about time they all started doing something useful instead of begging!

Is it true?

I was quite shocked to hear a news report . This was given in a Channel i newspaper review programme by Mr MR Chaoudhury. The reaction of a senior journalist was quite legitimate and necessary. The news report is that a BWDB project from the "Aila" affected area has been moved from there to Bhairab. The news is missing a lot of details, yet I think the reaction of the journalist was quite appropriate.

Police clearance for visa

Indians need police clearance for Saudi visas. At present the Indians, who are applying for passport have to get a police clearance certificate in order to get it. The validity of most of the passports is 10 years and during this period a person may commit a crime. It is a good decision to insist upon the certificate for Employment Visa. This will end the suspicions and will stop the person with criminal records from coming to Saudi Arabia. However, on the negative side the police department will have to work harder and the normal 4-5 week clearance period will be further delayed.

Railway land

As a son of a railway employee, I have been witnessing the encroachment of railway land since my childhood. A vast area of railway all over Chittagong is now under the clutches of the greedy occupants. The range of occupants varies from poor slum dwellers and refugees to powerful bigwigs and government bodies. In my childhood it was a common sight for us to see houses and other establishments being bulldozed and overthrown in an attempt to recover railway land and re-encroachment of the land soon afterwards. Again, there were, and still are, certain establishments which belonged to the so-called big guns which had always been exempted. The railway is now almost crippled due the massive corruption on the part of its employees to high officials.

“I did not read it”

Opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia rejected the success of prime minister's India visit, calling the joint communiqué signed between the two neighbours as the document of sale-out of Bangladesh to India. She smelt the failure even before the visit started on the ground and warned the Hasina government not to sign any deal with this neighbour. However, while the signing ceremony was over and the joint communiqué was made public her party sharply reacted, accusing this govt. of signing a sell-out document and threatened to go for an agitation programme against this government taking the public with her.

Great advice

Once one of the companions of our greatest and dearest Rasul Hazrat Muhammad (Pbuh) said to the Rasul, ''Ya Rasulallah! Teach me such an act by which I will be able to gain love of both Allah and humans.'' Our dearest Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) advised him, ''If you can give up your greed for things belonging to others, people will love you. And, if you can give up your earthly hopes, Allah will love you.''

Lost harmony

I remembered the time when our small, quaint area was being urbanized. Lots of cutting down of trees and dust cloud may be the approved definition for urbanization but to me it is something different. It made the area arid and the harmony with the nature is lost. Once there were many charming songs of parrots and magpie robins. Now I can hardly see birds, except for crows dominating with their harsh noise.

Duty free cars

The last caretaker government had done one good thing it abolished the unjust privilege of the lawmakers of importing duty free cars. I am greatly distressed to see the vile practice being revived again. Our perception is that nobody in our country is ever poorer after entering politics. In most cases the aspirants to the Jatiyo Sangsad spend several millions just to get party nomination.

Progoti Industries

The Progoti Industries is an industrial enterprise that belongs to Bangladesh Steel and Engineering Corporation (BSEC). It assembles motor vehicles. A Bangla daily newspaper from Dhaka reported recently that it had been suffering from acute working capital shortage. It borrowed inadequate working capital form commercial banks with high interest.

A good system

Bangladesh has been experimenting with different forms of government since Independence without any remarkable achievement. None of the systems has been able to deliver what this country requires. To achieve any tangible success Bangladesh needs to switch over to a failure-proof time tested system. The system that is in vogue in the United States has made America the number one country in the world. This system of governance ensures accountability and responsible leadership.

Misuse of corporate culture

Like any other thing, Bangladeshi traditional work-culture doesn't adopt the western practice of the 'corporate culture' without terrible deformation. While in the west, this working pattern maintains clarity, equality and system, in Bangladesh it fuels up the manipulation of the surplus labour force. Over the last decade, we have seen a change in the overall working condition of Bangladesh. This change, in its turn, is moulding the socio-cultural fabric of our society. Both my parents were service-holders; however, when we were younger, we found both of them returning home before four o'clock. Consequently, the family did not face the disorientation of loneliness and boredom. But in our present time, most of the corporate offices, banks and even the education institutions have very long working-hours, the minimum of which is perhaps no less then eight -hours. Now the point is, some of the banks and offices even make the workers work till late-nights. And the academics return home with the overwhelming workload in the form of preparing questions, checking the scripts. They are not spared. When these people return home, after a day long of exhaustion (adding the never ending traffic-jam), they are, no doubt, not in a mood to spend time with the children and other family members. And without creating enough child-care provision for the small and school-going children, we demand married women to work and maintain a family life. All these exploitation of labour should be brought under control.

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International

India proposes secy-level talks with Pakistan

India has proposed foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan, a senior government source said yesterday, signalling a major breakthrough in relations frozen since the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

Pak Kashmiri militants vow Jihad against Indian rule

Pakistani militant leaders vowed yesterday to press holy war to "liberate" the divided Himalayan state of Kashmir from Indian control and called for moral support from Pakistan.

Air, ground offensive kill 12 militants in Pak tribal belt

Pakistan's security forces said yesterday an air and ground offensive had killed 12 militants in the northern extremity of the lawless tribal belt on the Afghan border.

Tamils should work with govt, says Rajapakse

Sri Lanka's president called yesterday for minority ethnic Tamils to work with the government to settle their differences but said there would be no self-rule for them, as the country celebrated its first Independence Day since the end of a 25-year civil war.

British lawmakers told to repay one million pounds expenses

British lawmakers were ordered yesterday to repay more than one million pounds of expenses linked to their second homes, after an investigation into a scandal, which rocked parliament.

Sparks fly as Bollywood, cricket and politics collide

India's twin obsessions of cricket and Bollywood are at the heart of a bitter row that has broken out between the country's top film star and a radical right-wing party in the movie capital Mumbai.

Pak scientist found guilty of trying to kill US servicemen

A US-educated Pakistani woman who caught the attention of human rights groups after she disappeared for five years was found guilty Wednesday of trying to kill American servicemen in Afghanistan.

US takes step to implement nuclear deal with India

US President Barack Obama on Wednesday certified that India has placed safeguards on its nuclear facilities, taking another step toward full implementation of a landmark cooperation deal.

32 killed in Afghan operation

Thirty-two Taliban and three soldiers have been killed in an Afghan-Nato operation in Helmand province ahead of a major anti-Taliban push, the provincial government said yesterday.

Obama keeps N Korea off terror list

President Barack Obama on Wednesday certified that North Korea would remain off the US list of terrorist states, despite some calls from Congress for the Stalinist state to be put back on.

Indian ministers asked to disclose their assets

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is understood to have asked his cabinet colleagues to disclose details of their assets and liabilities.

Pill soon to say goodbye to diabetes

A pill that allows people to live beyond 100 and eliminates Alzheimer's, diabetes and heart disease is being developed by scientists.

'Hamas wants talks with US, EU'

Hamas is ready for dialogue with the international community, including the United States and European Union, the leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Ismail Haniya told AFP.

Arts & Entertainment

Emdadul Haque Milon discusses his new books

One of the major attractions of the Ekushey Book Fair are the latest books by leading and popular writers of the country, among them this year are eight works by noted novelist Emdadul Haque Milon.

The waning magic of puppetry

As part of its initiative to promote rural art forms, the Department of Theatre and Film, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) is holding Putul Nach Utshab (Puppet Dance Festival) 2010.

Memories of Sayeed Ahmed

When I received the news of Sayeed Ahmed's demise, memories of him overwhelmed me on a gloomy, foggy Madrid day. We were pretty close and he stayed over at my place several times. I first met him around twenty years ago.

Musician Topu’s ‘secret’ is out

Popular musician turned actor Topu now has another identity. Topu is making his debut as a writer with the book "Ekti Gopon Kotha" at the ongoing Ekushey Boi Mela this week. The book contains lyrics of 36 of his songs. The Daily Star spoke to Topu about the book.

Theatre festival at Jahangirnagar University

A weeklong theatre festival, titled "Natya Parban-2010" at the Muktamancho (open stage) of Jahangirnagar University (JU) will begin on February 11. Arranged by Jahangirnagar Theatre (JT), the festival will feature staging of eight plays, including popular productions of Dhaka troupes.

Dalia Nausheen and Azad Hafiz to perform in Dhaka after a hiatus

Indian Cultural Centre in association with Shadhona is holding a musical soiree -- featuring performances by Nazrul singer Dalia Nausheen and Tagore artiste Azad Hafiz -- today. The event will be held at the Indian Cultural Centre, Gulshan 1 in the city, at 7 pm.

Prachyanat staged "Punarjanmo"

Theatre troupe Prachyanat staged its latest production “Punarjanmo” at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on February 3. Adapted from legendary Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s last work “When We Dead Awaken”, the play has been directed by Azad Abul Kalam. Shahidul Mamun did the translation. The cast included Azad Abul Kalam, Reetu Sattar and Kazi Toufikul Islam Emon.

OP-ED

'There is no value in verbal commitments'

Professor Abu Ahmed, an eminent economist and professor in the Dhaka University Economics Department, is also an advisor to the Securities and Exchange Commission, a director of the Chittagong Stock Exchange, and former Pro-Vice Chancellor at Southeast University. In this interview, he spoke with Porimol Palma.

The scholar that was A.R. Mallick

THIRTEEN years ago, the death of Azizur Rahman Mallick drew the curtain over a scholar's life. He was one of those men whose singular devotion to the country, which devotion came encapsulated in his efforts for better education for the young, has always been the pivot around which his life and with it its achievements have been measured. You think of Chittagong University and in the same breath you dwell on the place of Azizur Rahman Mallick in its history. Back in the later 1960s, as the university took shape, Abdul Monem Khan, governor of what was then Pakistan's eastern province, made it known that Mallick was not an individual he could appreciate. But then, Monem Khan saw little that was of significance in Bengali culture. It was one of those times when an upholding of the so-called Pakistan ideology was all that mattered to Monem Khan and the likes of him. And yet, for all his difficulty in coming to terms with Mallick's scholarly persona, the governor knew there was no one who could steer Chittagong University to the future better than the man behind its creation.

Road rage

MY son was taking a turn when a car from behind hit his car. The driver still continued to drive through the maze of cars, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws and pedestrians. In that maze it was not too difficult for my son to turn around and follow the car that hit him. Soon he was able to stop the car and get the driver to inspect the damage incurred due to this "accident". To my son's amazement, the driver in the other car was a young teenager, who was learning to drive from his incompetent driver, during the city's peak rush hour traffic. The teenager was blissfully unaware of the damage he could have caused not only to the car and its passengers, but also to his own life. My son, after giving this young driver a good piece of his mind, let him go only because of a previous incident that both he and I had watched from the safety of our apartment a few weeks ago.

StarTech

How digitised are we?

Changing and developing the standard of lifestyle, increasing per capita income and creating jobs are the key issues of 'Digital Bangladesh' targeted to be achieved through knowledge based society driven by information and communication technology (ICT). The powerful strides of ICT are helping many countries to halve the financial and social backlog. Unfortunately, Bangladesh could not scale like those countries, which achieved the ubiquitous advancements in all sectors leveraging the ICT.

The X-factor with X3

Are you a music lover? Then you will love this phone for sure. Pioneering new ways to experience music, Nokia announced the first model of the new “X” Series, the new Nokia X3 in Bangladesh turning over a new leaf in the development of their music line-up that was, until recently, called XpressMusic.

Skilled HR for IT and telecom industry

With the advent and growth of the ICT and telecom sector, Bangladesh has experienced a dramatic progress in infrastructure. Over the last two decades, the flow of communication has increased remarkably which has consequently accelerated economic activities- thanks to ICT and telecom. If we can ensure a business friendly environment, adequate assistance and patronisation, this sector may bring great fortunes for the country.

Symbian phone software now available for free

The Symbian Foundation says the software that powers the most smart phones in the world is being made largely available for free for anyone to use.

A million dollar opportunity

Nokia has announced $ 1 million venture challenge to encourage innovators to create a mobile product or service that raises the standard of living or enhances the lives of those in growth economies, says a press release.


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