The Daily Star

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Saturday, October 25, 2014


News of: Monday, 8th of February, 2010

Front Page

HC asks for traffic report

The High Court yesterday came forward to end reckless driving in the country by directing the government to submit within a month a report on the progress in implementing traffic laws and rules through controlling automobile speeds.

Court ruling sparks mixed reactions

A recent High Court verdict brought the Warrant of Precedence into the centre of discussion as its longstanding practice would be changed if the government revises the current precedence following the court verdict.

Hosts' gold rush

It was a gold rush for Bangladesh on the tenth day of the 11th South Asian Games yesterday. And believe it or not the ladies picked up more than the men on a day Bangladesh crossed their previous best effort in the regional showpiece event by winning six gold -- an astonishing four in karate, one in taekwondo and the last but not the least -- a dream gold in cricket.

Finger pointed at top agency men

Md Hafizur Rahman, the prime accused in Chittagong Arms case, in a confessional statement here Saturday night hinted at involvement of the same high officials of intelligence agencies and leaders of United Liberation Front of Asom (Ulfa), as mentioned in his previous confessional statement.

SC judges should make their wealth statements public

Judges of the Supreme Court divisions should publish their wealth statements in the interest of a transparent judiciary, chief justice-designate Mohammad Fazlul Karim yesterday said.

ACC gets JS probe report

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is likely to initiate a probe into alleged misappropriation of Tk 2.5 crore by former speaker Jamiruddin Sircar, his deputy Akhtar Hamid Siddiqui and former chief whip Khandaker Delwar Hossain as parliament yesterday forwarded its investigation report to the anti-graft body for further investigation.

River cleaning, dumping go together

Hundreds of tonnes of rubbish is being dumped into the Buriganga every day, making futile the Tk 6 crore project of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) to clean the riverbed.

Cell phone crime goes unabated

Extortion and threat to high profile people using cell phones is going unabated as law enforcers could hardly trace the criminals who manage their SIM cards without following proper registration procedure.

Maya reinstated as city AL gen secy

Ruling Awami League formally starts its move today to strengthen the party's grassroots level activities, resolve conflicts and promote coordination among the party leaders, workers and lawmakers, according to a decision taken at its extended meeting on January 30.

Air pollution in city takes alarming turn

Air pollution in the capital has taken an alarming turn, posing serious health problems for city dwellers.

Bill on MPs' code of conduct hailed

Lawmakers from two major political parties and leaders of the civil society yesterday at a discussion appreciated the private members' bill titled "The Members of Parliament Conduct Bill 2010" placed in the parliament recently.

Govt seeks stay on HC verdict

The government yesterday filed a petition with the Supreme Court seeking stay on a High Court verdict that declared the existing Warrant of Precedence illegal and void.

Cricket glory Bangladesh's

Bangladesh posted an exciting six-run victory over Sri Lanka to delight the country with a gold in the cricket event of the 11th South Asian Games at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

PM reaches Kuwait

A red carpet was rolled out to greet Bangladesh Premier Sheikh Hasina as she landed at Kuwait International Airport yesterday afternoon to begin a three-day state visit to the Gulf country.

3 rivers now biologically dead: DoE

Experts at the Department of Environment have classified three rivers in the capital as "biologically dead."

Power generation to start Thursday

After more than seven months of delay and missing two deadlines, the Sikalbaha 55MW furnace oil-fired rental power plant is expected to be launched on Thursday.

Extortionists threaten to kill 5 BKMEA executives

An extortionist demanded huge amount of toll over cellphone from five executives of Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) and threatened to kill them in case they do not meet the demand.

Criminals shoot at expat youth

Criminals allegedly hired by a manpower broker shot an expatriate in Singapore yesterday in the city's Gendaria.

MD of Jamuna Builders faces contempt charge

A contempt of court petition was filed yesterday with the High Court against the managing director of Jamuna Builders Ltd on charge of misquoting its order in two separate appeals submitted to the Rajuk chairman.

Strike at DU lessens crowd

The Amar Ekushey Boi Mela at Bangla Academy witnessed relatively small crowd yesterday owing to tension in the area following a strike at Dhaka University.

US under-secy speaks highly of steps on development

Visiting US Under-Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Judith A McHale highly praised the present government's development initiatives and assured of providing all necessary cooperation in implementing development programmes, projects and plans.

JCD strike at DU observed peacefully

Academic activities at Dhaka University were greatly disrupted yesterday due to the strike enforced by the pro-BNP student body Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal in protest against the death of Abubakar Siddique.

Ahmadinejad for 20pc uranium enrichment

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday ordered Iran's atomic chief to begin higher uranium enrichment, raising the stakes in a dispute with the West days after seeming to accept a UN-drafted nuclear deal.

France praises Sudan's role in kidnap release

A French envoy thanked Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir for helping to secure the release of a Red Cross worker held by kidnappers for nearly three months.

Editorial

Admission trade menace

THE diabolic interference by Chhatra League in the admission process of many educational institutions, from colleges to universities has become the order of the day, much to the chagrin of the citizenry. Given that the BCL, by its vicious involvement in the admission process, may have minted a huge sum of money, to the tune of one crore by one estimate, and that too, only from three colleges of the capital, it is no surprise that such lucrative business is being conducted -- thanks to the impunity leash. And to cap it, it is alleged that some teachers may have got involved in the trade, a few under pressure and some on their own volition.

Ekushey book fair this year

THE Ekushey book fair is one of those annual events which reveal the cultural strengths and aspirations of the Bengali nation. It has been that way for decades altogether, which is as much as to say that the constant stream of visitors making their way to the grounds of the Bangla Academy every year is a reflection of the intellectual wellspring the people of Bangladesh have always been drawn to. It is a matter of satisfaction that it is not merely the Ekushey book fair but other book fairs as well which have regularly been a source of inspiration to young and old alike. The tradition which has grown around such fairs, especially the Ekushey fair, is once again being upheld at the Bangla Academy premises this year.

Where is the remedy?

DHAKA city is plagued with many problems. Traffic jam is probably the most dreadful thing that haunts the inhabitants of the capital all the time. It has been a nagging pain for a long time, with no sign of early remission. The question is for how long will people be able to bear it. There has to be a limit. Life in Dhaka is heading for a complete standstill unless something is done urgently.

Trade gap with India

BANGLADESH'S large and growing trade deficit with India is often used by critics as an indication of India's dominance in its relationship with Bangladesh, and by implication, serves as a rationale for why it is a bad idea to engage in more cooperation with India. What is amazing is that not just political opponents but also NGOs, business leaders and even some professional economists use this argument. Is this a valid concern? Should our trade gap with India matter?

Sports

A golden day for hosts

Bangladesh had a golden time on the tenth day of the 11th South Asian Games when the hosts grabbed five gold medals in karate and taekwondo competitions yesterday.

Young Tigers write history

Bangladesh's young cricketers made a piece of history last night at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur by winning the inaugural edition of the discipline in the 11th South Asian Games.

Will booters turn golden?

Bangladesh will look to bring glory back when they meet Afgha-nistan in the final of the South Asian Games football at the Bangabandhu National Stadium today.

2nd BD-NZ ODI today

Bangladesh will try to put behind the mauling of the first one-day international when they take on New Zealand in the second match at the University Oval in Dunedin today.

Games Gallery

India capped off their domination of shooting by winning the last two gold medals of the Games at the National Shooting Complex yesterday. Bangladesh won silver in both men's 50-metre rifle 3x40 individual and team events that took place on the last day.

Mahfuza misses again

She was only disappointed when she missed the women's 50m breaststroke by a whisker on the opening day of the swimming competition of the 11th SA Games on Friday. But Mahfuza Khatun was shell-shocked and failed to control her emotions after yet another near miss -- this time in the 100m breaststroke at the National Swimming Complex in Mirpur yesterday.

Amla steals the show

Hashim Amla smashed his maiden double-century to put South Africa in the driver's seat on the second day of the first Test against India on Sunday.

MU demolish Pompey

Manchester United stormed to the top of the Premier League with a 5-0 demolition of struggling Portsmouth at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Photo finishes Sumita

It must have come as a surprise for Gayathry Gobindra Raj of India that she has won the women's 100m hurdles gold of the 11th South Asian (SA) Games. About 20 minutes have already passed after the race had ended and favourite Sumita Rani, draped in red and green colours, of Bangladesh is on victory lap round the track.

Pakistan's revenge

Pakistan defied the odds to beat powerful India 4-3 on penalties in the final to retain South Asian hockey supremacy. The match rolled into extra time after the regulation 70 minutes ended 1-1. Even the added fifteen minutes after that failed to break the deadlock.

Hosts get back hockey bronze

Bangladesh came from behind to beat Sri Lanka 2-1 to regain the bronze medal in hockey of the 11th South Asian Games at Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Nepalese cyclists on a peace mission

Two Nepalese cyclists on their odyssey to pedal around 99 countries in five years are now in the city with a message of peace for the world leaders and renowned personalities.

Kaka scores in win

Brazilian superstar Kaka scored his first league goal in three months as Real Madrid closed back to within five points of pacesetters Barcelona at the top of the Spanish top-flight with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Espanyol.

Injured fan dies

A Blackburn Rovers football fan critically injured at this weekend's Premier League match at Stoke City has died in hospital, police said on Sunday.

Police caught up in Cabanas shooting

Mexican authorities have accused three policemen of being implicated in last month's shooting of Paraguay World Cup star Salvador Cabanas, the ministry of public affairs said late Saturday.

Aussies abase WI

Another series, another opponent, same result. Two days after completing a tri-format clean-sweep against Pakistan, Australia continued their unbeaten summer with a 113-run victory over West Indies, set up by Shane Watson's half-century and Doug Bollinger's new-ball efforts. Chris Gayle's prediction of a 4-1 West Indies win can still come true but they have only one day to regroup before Tuesday's second match in Adelaide.

Langeveldt in SA ODI squad

Paceman Charl Langeveldt was on Sunday added to South Africa's squad for the upcoming three-match one-day international series against India.

Styris striving to return to national fold

Scott Styris, the New Zealand all-rounder, has been overlooked for the series against Bangladesh but new coach Mark Greatbatch, who is also a selector, said it was partly because New Zealand wanted to test their bench strength.

Intikhab accepts blame for Aussie debacle

Pakistan coach Intikhab Alam said Sunday he accepted full responsibility for his team's dismal performance on its tour of Australia last month, and vowed not to run away from any investigation.

Business

Court ruling sends Lafarge into tailspin

Lafarge Surma Cement Ltd suffered a 7 percent decline in share trade yesterday on news that the Indian Supreme Court restrained the cement giant from mining limestone in Meghalaya.

Bharti Airtel moves to clear Warid debt

Bharti Airtel is set to pay out Warid Telecom's liabilities of Tk 231 crore to local financial institutions as part of its investment plan that includes massive network expansion.

New firm likely to join credit rating

A new credit rating agency is likely to emerge as the fortunate one among the 11 such firms vying for licences from the regulator.

Two more distilleries on cards

The government has decided to set up two distillery plants in two sugar mills.

DITF bags Tk 30cr spot orders

The 15th Dhaka Intern-ational Trade Fair (DITF) 2010 came to a close yesterday with the participants bagging spot orders worth Tk 30 crore from the biggest trade exposition in the country.

Commercial orange farming expanding fast

Orange farming has been expanding fast in Panchagarh and Thakurgaon where tea farming has already got a stronger footage bringing huge change in the socio-economic conditions of the people in the two districts.

BB eases banking for farmers

The Bangladesh Bank has directed the state-owned commercial and specialised banks to allow farmers to open accounts without bringing them under KYC (know your customer) criterion, said a circular issued yesterday.

Northern business leaders stress upgrading Sonali Bank's service

Business leaders in eight northern districts urged Sonali Bank to upgrade its services for the sake of business-friendly banking.

Cotton concern

The continually surging global cotton prices in recent times have caused growing concerns among local textile makers and knitters. Domestic yarn of 30-count surged over 30 percent in the last two months.

Insecurity pushes gold business down

Sayed Mukhtar's shop in downtown Kabul is heaving with heavy 24-carat gold necklaces, rings and bracelets gleaming under fluorescent lights, but buyers these days are few and far between.

BB fund for shipbuilders

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has decided in principle to form Tk 200 crore refinance fund to facilitate growth of the export-oriented shipbuilding industry, a central bank official said yesterday.

GP, AKTEL tie up to share network

Following Banglalink's footsteps, AKTEL yesterday joined forces with Grameenphone to share network infrastructure, aiming to present low-cost services to the untapped rural market.

Corporate Briefs

DSE
In line with a decision of the DSE board of directors, the trading of RN Spinning Mills shares will start tomorrow under 'N' category. DSE trading code for RN Spinning is “RNSPIN” and DSE company code is 17450.

Kuwait to post $24b budget surplus

Kuwait is set to post a surplus of 24 billion dollars in the current fiscal year on the back of higher oil prices, despite projecting a shortfall, an economic report forecast on Sunday.

Toyota to announce action soon for Prius hybrids

Toyota said Sunday that it will soon announce plans to deal with braking problems in its prized Prius hybrid amid reports it has decided to issue a recall for the latest model in Japan, a possible new embarrassment for the world's biggest automaker.

China economy to grow 10pc in 2010: State think tank

A top state-run think tank has forecast that China will return to double digital growth this year, with a 10 percent rise in gross domestic product, state media reported Sunday.

'The worst is over' for food inflation, says India's PM

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, under attack over rising food prices, said Saturday the worst of the country's food price inflation was over and that there was no need for panic over supplies.

Australia to withdraw bank funding guarantee

Australia's treasurer said on Sunday the government would withdraw its bank funding guarantee due to improved conditions, ending a scheme put in place at the height of the global crisis.

Metropolitan

Call to amend Upazila Parishad Act

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called on the government to amend the Upazila Parishad Act 2009 to establish an effective upazila parishad as well as autonomous local government.

Tuku seeks cooperation to maintain campus peace

State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku yesterday sought cooperation from both the ruling and opposition parties to maintain a congenial atmosphere in the educational institutions, including the Dhaka University.

20,000 Bangladeshi students to get scope for edn in US a year

The US will provide education opportunities to 20,000 Bangladeshi students in its colleges and universities every year, US Under Secretary of State for Public Affairs and Public Diplomacy Judith A Mchale said yesterday.

India to help prepare dredging plan

An Indian team will help prepare a plan very soon on the dredging of rivers in Bangladesh, as the neighbouring country had agreed to support the government's project to dredge rivers for flood control and smooth navigation.

'Ensure housing for urban poor'

Slum dwellers of Dhaka city held their first convention yesterday with a call to the government to ensure adequate housing facilities for four million urban poor.

Work for poverty alleviation

Brac Chairperson Sir Fazle Hasan Abed yesterday urged the former students of Brac University to work for poverty alleviation in the country as well as across the globe.

Create scope for higher education for rural students

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the authorities of private universities to create opportunities of higher education for the children of the country's rural people.

UK to cut foreign student visas from outside EU

The number of visas granted to students from outside the European Union (EU) is to be cut in a crackdown on abuses of the system, UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said.

India to take steps to activate Saarc Food Bank

India yesterday assured Bangladesh of taking necessary steps and extending cooperation to activate the Saarc Food Bank, a proposal approved by the eight-member grouping in its 14th summit in the Indian capital of New Delhi in 2007.

Two class rooms of madrasa damaged

Land subsidence caused by underground mining activities damaged two classrooms of a madrasa in Barapukuria village under Dinajpur district Wednesday night.

Lawyers, DC office staffs clash: 10 hurt

At least 10 people were injured when the employees of deputy commissioner's (DC) office and lawyers of nearby judge court in the city clashed yesterday over a trifling matter.

Jahanara granted bail

A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to Prof Jahanara Begum, former adviser to the primary and mass education ministry, in a case filed for amassing wealth illegally and concealing wealth information from the Anti-Corruption Commission.

'Digitise judicial system to reduce people's suffering'

President Zillur Rahman yesterday emphasised the need for digitising the country's judicial system to reduce the sufferings of people.

MPO application on website

The education ministry has published the application form and a guideline for Monthly Pay Order (MPO) on its website for bringing new non-government educational institutions under MPO.

Generous people come to aid of Sumi's family

Generous people came to the aid of the family of Sumi, who was killed in a road accident on Friday.

Govt places draft tender doc with donors for opinion

The government has placed a draft tender document for the Padma Bridge with four development partners including the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank who are financing the construction of the bridge.

Place amended real estate bill to JS

The Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association has urged a parliamentary standing committee to return the Amended Real Estate Development and Management Act 2009 to parliament so that it can be passed during the current parliamentary session.

Punishment to driver demanded

Teachers, students and guardians of Willes Little Flower School yesterday demanded exemplary punishment to the driver responsible for the death of Shiekh Hamim, a KG student of the school.

Govt to send 18,000 Hajj pilgrims by ship

The government has taken initiative to send 18,000 pilgrims to Saudi Arabia this year by ship so people can perform the holy Hajj at lower expenses than airfares.

National

Migratory birds fluttering, twittering at Baikkabeel

A large number of tourists are thronging Baikkabeel, a birds' sanctuary in Hailhaor wetland covering areas in Srimongal and Sadar upazilas in Moulvibazar district, as the sanctuary with immense natural beauty now buzzes with chirping and fluttering of migratory birds.

7 former CU student leaders acquitted

A court here yesterday acquitted seven former student leaders of Chittagong University (CU) of the charges of abducting two Islami Chhatra Shibir activists 21 years ago.

Two under-trial prisoners die

Two under-trial prisoners died in Munshiganj and Pirojpur districts on Saturday and the day before.

Student's death in road crash sparks violence

Students of a local college yesterday attacked Kamolnagar police station following death of a fellow student in a road crash in Kamolnagar upazila.

Judicial probe, arrest of culprits demanded

Indigenous people yesterday formed a human chain in front of the deputy commissioner's office at Rangamati demanding judicial inquiry into the attacks on Santu Larma, Raja Debasish Roy and Rangamati HDC Chairman Nikhil Chakma in Khagrachhari and Rangamati on January 27.

Nurses in B'baria keep off work

Nurses at 250-bed Brahmanbaria Sadar Hospital yesterday observed a three- hour-long work abstention from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon protesting assault on an on-duty nurse on Saturday.

Two shot by muggers at Feni

A three-year-old child and a trader were shot as muggers opened fire on two traders in Feni town yesterday noon.

Bhola BCL vows action against 'rebel group'

Bhola district Chhatra League General Secretary Nazmul Hossain Tusher yesterday said the student organisation was not involved with the incident of putting the Awami League (AL) office under lock.

Godown looted, 7 tourists mugged

A gang of 50 to 60 armed criminals looted goods and valuables openly from a godown and damaged a house at Mukterpara in Durgapur upazila at about 8:00 pm on Friday.

Withdraw ban on RU student activities

Leaders and activists of different left-leaning student organisations at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday demanded immediate withdrawal of restriction on students' activities on the campus.

One held on bribery charge

A team of Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) on Tuesday arrested Shahnaz Begum, a clerk of district primary education office on charge of taking bribe from a retired teacher of a primary school.

BSF returns body

Indian Border security Force (BSF) on Saturday returned the body of a Bangladeshi cattle trader after a company commander-level meeting with Bangladesh Rifles(BDR). Company Commander of Tentulia BDR camp Nipendranath Roy said the meeting was held on the zero line on Telipara border in Panchagarh. Victim Farid Hossain,28, was son of Dabiruddin of Sharialjoth village under Tentulia upazila. He was gunned down by BSF members at Haftiagochh camp in the early hours of Saturday. On receiving the body, BDR members of Bashalgaon camp sent it to Tentulia police who later handed it over to the victim's family members.

Spurious milk destroyed

A mobile court here yesterday destroyed over 10 thousand litres of spurious milk in Demra Bazar of Faridpur upazila. It also fined the four milk traders Tk 2.5 lakh. The mobile court led by Additional Deputy Magistrate (ADM) Emam Uddin Kabir fined Dulal Ghosh Tk 1 lakh, Robin Ghosh, Babul Ghosh and Majore Ghosh Tk 50,000 each. The court then destroyed 35 drums of spurious milk each containing over 300 litre.

Yaba seized, 3 arrested

Members of the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) in a raid on a passenger bus yesterday recovered 1192 pieces of banned sexual stimulant yaba tablets and arrested three persons in this connection. On a tip-off that a gang of Yaba peddlers were looking for customers in Kalurghat area under Chandgaon police station, a team from Rab-7 set up a check post at the end of Kalurghat railway bridge. The Rab members later searched a Dhaka bound passenger bus and found the banned tablets kept in secret chambers of shoes of a female passenger. On the basis of her information, the elite force later arrested two others from the same spot. All the arrestees hailed from Tenaf of Cox's Bazar.

15 hurt as AL factions clash

At least 15 people were injured as two Awami League (AL) factions clashed at a community centre in Debidwar upazila headquarters on Saturday afternoon. Police quoting witnesses said the clash took place between the supporters of Debidwar upazila AL president Joynal Abedin and AL leader AFM Fakhrul Munshi as the latter were not formally invited to the AL extended meeting. At one stage, both the groups locked in an altercation over the issue and attacked each other leaving 15 people from both sides injured. Seriously injured Abdus Salam Bhuiyan was admitted to Sadar Hospital.

Old man murdered

A sexagenarian man was hacked to death allegedly by his neighbour at Faringa village in Dhamrai upazila on Saturday noon. The victim was identified as Haran Matbar, 70, of the village. Police quoting locals said there was a longstanding conflict between Haran and van-puller Delwar over land mortgage. On Saturday, Delwar picked up a quarrel with Haran over

College student beaten up

A college student was beaten up allegedly by a Jubo League leader at Mohiskhocha village of Aditmari upazila yesterday morning. The student was beaten up in presence of villagers as he protested gambling at the village. Locals alleged that Mohiskhocha union Jubo League president Kamal Hossain arranged illegal gambling at the village where farmers, day labourers, even college students got involved. Kamol Chandra Roy, a masters student of Carmichael University, angered Kamal by protesting the matter. Kamal and his gang on Saturday attacked the college student and beat him up in presence of villagers.

Van puller found dead

A van puller missing since February 1 was found dead at a bamboo cluster at Chorai Pakha village in Sadar upazila yesterday morning. Police arrested three people for allegedly killing the puller and snatching his van. Victim Suruj Miah,15, was son of Mazibar Rahman of Joyhori village under Barobari union. The arrestees, Sohel Miah,20, Faruque Hossain,25, and Saiful Islam,21, are all from Bosti Khatamari village of Kulaghat union in Sadar upazila. According to police, all the arrestees are identified muggers. Victim's father Mazibar Rahaman filed a murder case against the three arrestees.

Fratricide in Pabna

A man was murdered while his son and daughter-in-law received injuries in a clash yesterday at Naduria village of Atghoria upazila. Police and locals said victim Niar Uddin and his brother Joynal locked in a clash over a family matter. During the clash, Joynal and his men chopped Niar Uddin, his son Anwar and daughter-in-law Nurunnahar with sharp weapons. They were rushed to Pabna General Hospital but Niar Uddin died there after sometime. Police said, Joynal and his family members went into hiding after the incident.

Letters

Test match performance

I thank you for your editorial on 'Test match performance against India' dated January 28, 2010 and am glad to note your comments on the performance of our players. While some players displayed character at Chittagong, the match at Dhaka was a fiasco and our cricketers caved in without much of a fight against the mighty Indians.

Women in trouble

It's a shame for us that in our countrywomen still do not have adequate social security. This is a very alarming predicament at all levels of our society and even educated women often become victims of unbearable harassments and abuse.

Volvo service to Uttara

To ease the haphazard traffic movement in this mega city, the govt. has taken a number of steps, including removal of age-old unfit commercial vehicles from the city roads and introduction of newer vehicles on some routes. But unfortunately for reasons best known to authorities, the BRTC Volvo Double Decked bus service has stopped operating on the Uttara route for the last one year. Students, women, children and office goers, who availed themselves of this service are now facing serious trouble. Older people and patients, who like to go to BIRDEM, BSMMU, DMC etc. for treatment find no other alternative but to board a local bus which stops here and there to collect passengers and takes much time to reach the destination. Moreover, these buses take passengers beyond their capacity and one has to fight to get a seat.

Food-borne diseases

Food-borne diseases are an ever-growing concern across the globe and it has been reported that in 2005 alone, 1.8 million people succumbed to death due to the diarrhoeal diseases mainly attributed to food and drinking water contamination. It's obvious that the poor and developing countries like ours top the list of most vulnerable countries due to many reasons like illiteracy, poverty, unscrupulousness of food manufacturers and sellers and lack of proper surveillance on the government's part etc. From the picture of the last few years it is as clear as the daylight that how horrible, grim and grisly is our condition in this regard. Deadly formalin in fish, milk and milk products, urea with rice, poisonous pesticides, chemicals and other preservatives with fruits and vegetables, artificial ripening and colouring of fruits, algae in so called pure beverage bottles, industrial dye and tar in sweetmeat, arsenic in water and even, recently, in paddyin fact, the list is so long that a whole book could be written on it. As a result of food and drinks adulteration and contamination the health of the people is breaking down giving rise to fatal diseases on a regular basis. Millions of taka is being spent behind treatment and the government is already gasping for air while coping with the ever-growing cost of health care.

Iran's nuclear policy

President Ahmedinejad resumed Iran's suspended nuclear programme. Ahmedinejad's foreign and nuclear policy escalated tension and also strained relations with the EU-3, USA, and even some Middle Eastern countries.

Leaders, shoes and possibilities!

The AFP news from Khartoum, published in a local English daily on January 26, is the latest episode of shoe throwing, this time at the President of Sudan. Shoe hurling as a sign of extreme displeasure; started with US President Bush (the son) on his trip to Iraq! Having set the precedent, the next target was the French President (if I correctly recollect). Now it is the Sudanese President's turn. Next target is anybody's guess!

To Rajuk chairman…

I saw you in Bangla TV the other day. Unlike a lot of other leaders (political and non-political), to my mind, you came out very clean. So, one day last week I tried to call your office unsuccessfully. I know you are busy, but you must have a secretary to answer the calls of common people like us. Well, I thought, may be you will check your e-mail. So I e-mailed you and again very unsuccessfully…

Airport at Trishal

While I am writing, the govt. has already declared Rangpur as a new division and obviously, this is another mind-breaking news for the people of Mymensingh who are demanding Mymensingh to be declared a division for the last around 30 years. But the govt's a recent decision to conduct the feasibility study, though some reports claimed it a decision, of establishing a new international airport at Trishal has made the people of this area at least a little bit hopeful. This is a logical decision as we see the neighbouring countries especially India, Malaysia, Thailand and South Korea establishing their national airports at least 50-80km away from the capitals. Besides, through several unwanted developments Dhaka is now going to be dead city and govt. is desperate to expand its metropolitan area.

PM deserves thanks

While presiding over a cabinet meeting on Monday, 25 January, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked the ministers, secretaries and public servants not to pile up files on their tables as she reminded that the present government did not come to power to while away time. She said, ''We are here to serve the people of the country for their welfare and to improve their fate,'' also urging the ministers and bureaucrats to do their respective work with more sincerity, dignity and responsibility.

Our image

Searching for Bangladesh in the web is a disappointment, as stated by A.H. Chowdhury in his letter on 27 January. The simple reason is that our authorities do not bother about it. It is for them to put up a realistic and representative image of Bangladesh; and take it up with Google to be incorporated in their website!

Residents of Dhanmondi

Those of you who frequent around Dhanmondi, during rush hours i.e. in the morning, afternoon and in the evening must have experienced unpleasant traffic situation on both sides of the bridge connecting the eastern part with the western part. As I have been experiencing this unpleasant situation on a regular basis, I kept wondering what is the cause of this unbearable traffic jam. In my observation, it is the dearth of bridge connection between the two parts of Dhanmondi. A few more bridges across the lake could have mitigated the problem to a great extent. It is though true that both Mirpur Road and Shatmashjid Road experience similar situation during such rush hours, even then I am inclined to believe that constructing a few more bridges across the lake shall greatly benefit the commuters.

Tragic death

Just now I got the news from The Daily Star, about the death of a cute child named Hamim Sheikh. This is a really a pathetic as well as a shameful incident. We cannot give security to a small kid!

Hanging of Bangabandhu's killers

Like most of Bangladeshis, I am happy that some of the killers have at last been brought to justice. It is sad that it took this long and the reasons are also known.

Death on road

Reference to the death of four female university students in a Quraiyat (Saudi Arabia) bus crash. It is really an unfortunate and sad event. The motor transportation is one of the major means of transport in Saudi Arabia, hence the incidence of deaths on the roads is much higher. Some roads are badly planned and are one of the causes of accidents. Many drivers are low paid and do multiple jobs. Steps need to be taken to make sure that such roads are rectified or closed to avoid innocent people being killed or maimed. The drivers should also be properly monitored.

Book fair

It is said that books are the best mirror of one's life. We would request the government and the authorities concerned to organise the fair not only in Dhaka but also across the country.

More medical colleges needed

Bangladesh is lagging behind in imparting medical education it needs. If one looks at the performance of last four decades after independence, one would see that expansion of religious and general education got preference at the cost of technical and professional education.

Insensitive VIPs

We are living in such a country where for a single person thousands of people have to remain stuck! These are those VIPs who don't care about the public in general. School goers, office goers even patients in the ambulance have to suffer a lot.

War criminals

Five of the killers of Bangabandhu and his family members were hanged finally, although some of them are still at large. There's been a clear message on the way forward that killers and criminals can be booked, and it can happen in Bangladesh. Now, the journey begins for the booking of the war criminals.

International

Court martial looms for Fonseka over 'coup'

Defeated Sri Lankan presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka could be hauled before a court martial to answer charges of plotting a coup to topple the government, a press report said yesterday.

Multiple security threats must be put down: PM

Emphasising that the road ahead to securing India was hard and there was a lot to achieve, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh yesterday said multiple threats such as leftwing extremism and insurgencies in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir required a firm hand to put down.

Kashmiris pessimistic about outcome of Indo-Pak talks

India and Pakistan are set to relaunch peace talks but residents of Kashmir, at the heart of decades of hostility between the nuclear-armed neighbours, say they are pessimistic about the outcome.

Telephone alert grounds Mumbai-Dubai flight

A passenger flight from Mumbai to Dubai was halted minutes before take-off yesterday when airline staff received a telephone call claiming there were "terrorists" on board, authorities said.

India tests nuke-capable Agni-III missile

India Sunday successfully tested its indigenous nuclear-capable Agni-III missile with a range of over 3,000-km, consolidating the country's position among a select group of nations that have intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM)-capability, defence sources said.

Pak minister sees blasphemy law revision this year

Pakistan plans within this year to revise its laws against blasphemy, which have long been criticised as a way to abuse minorities, a government minister said.

US not in direct contact with Taliban: Holbrooke

Washington is not in "direct contact" with the Taliban as part of efforts after January's London conference on Afghanistan to re-integrate insurgents, US envoy Richard Holbrooke said yesterday.

Israel 'failed' to probe war crimes

Human Rights Watch said yesterday that Israel has failed to properly investigate alleged crimes committed during last winter's devastating Gaza war as demanded by the United Nations.

Nato seeks broader ties with China, India, Russia

The head of Nato said yesterday that the alliance's troubled mission in Afghanistan shows it is vital to boost ties with nations like China, India and Pakistan.

Israel open to peace talks with Syria: Netanyahu

Israel's prime minister attempted to end a war of words with Syria yesterday, saying his country is open to peace talks with its longtime enemy.

Top Chinese official holds talks in N Korea

A senior Chinese Communist Party official held talks with North Korea on Sunday, state media said, as Pyongyang comes under growing pressure to return to nuclear disarmament talks.

US troops detain senior Afghan police official

US forces have detained a senior police officer in northeastern Afghanistan for alleged corruption and links to insurgents, an Afghan official and Nato said yesterday.

Internet down in Iran ahead of demos

Iran said yesterday its Internet connections will remain slow this week due to technical problems, ahead of anticipated protests by opposition supporters.

Four member UN team in Pakistan

A four member UN team probing former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination has arrived here to carry forward the inquiry.

New Orleans elects first white mayor in 32 yrs

New Orleans has elected its first white mayor in 32 years, ushering in hopes of a new era in a city still trying to rebuild five years after Hurricane Katrina.

Iraqi Shia militants claim kidnapping of 2 Americans

Radical Shia Islamists who claim to have kidnapped a US military contractor of Iraqi origin said yesterday they are also holding a second American hostage captured two years ago.

Sydney banker 'stole and spent $7m on prostitutes'!

A banker in Sydney stole 7 million dollars from his employer and allegedly spent most of the amount on prostitutes.

Prehistoric human bones found in Malaysia

Malaysian researchers believe they have discovered a new set of prehistoric human bones in a cave near the largest man-make lake in Southeast Asia, newspapers reported yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

The French Connection

The year-long programmes, celebrating 50 years of Alliance Française de Dhaka, came to an end recently at the Rose Garden in Old Dhaka with a cultural programme. A group of Bangladeshi and French artistes rendered songs and performed dances at the festival. The show was vibrant and was well attended by people from diverse fields of interest.

Hasan Azizul Huq, an icon of Bangla literature

Hasan Azizul Huq is an eminent writer, essayist and researcher. He is reputed for his short stories and meticulous writings.

Shibli and Nipa to stage a grand spectacle

The SA Games are approaching their closure. What better way to end the hugely popular games (February 9) than a taste of our traditional dance by our very own renowned classical dancers -- Shibli Mohammad and Shamim Ara Nipa.

A boost to developing reading habits

The three-week long Ekushey Book Fair began in Pabna on Saturday. Ekushey Book Fair Celebration Committee, Pabna has organised the event at Pabna town hall premises. Speaker of the Parliament, Advocate Abdul Hamid, inaugurated the fair on Saturday evening amidst much festivity. A discussion and cultural programme were held at the inaugural ceremony.

Tunes of devotion

A six-day long uninterrupted chanting and Kirtan rendition was held recently in Jhenidah. These hymns in honour of Hari were rendered by six groups of Kirtaniya (musicians).

Renowned cultural personalities honoured in Rajshahi

Rajshahi Sangskritik Shangha accorded reception to seven noted personalities of Rajshahi recently for their contribution to different fields of culture and sports at the Padma Ranga Mancha.

Accomplished persons bag honours

A colourful procession was brought out recently in Kotchandpur upazila town and made its way through all the important roads of the town on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Mitali Shahitya Cultural Sangsad and Mitali Sangeet Academy at Kotchandpur upazila in Jhenidah recently. Twenty two accomplished persons were honoured as part of the programme in Jhenidah sadar upazila and Kotchandpur upazila respectively.

Programmes to mark Amar Ekushey by Sangskritik Jote

A fortnight-long cultural programme by Sammilita Sangskritik Jote (SSJ) to commemorate Amar Ekushey begins from today (February 8) at the Central Shaheed Minar premises, says a press release.

Art competition and cultural programme held

An art competition, a captivating cultural programme and a discussion were held at the Sayed Ator Ali Public Library premises in observance of Wat-San (water and sanitation) mela (fair) to generate awareness among the masses about the use of safe drinking water and sanitary latrines.



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