The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, April 16, 2014


News of: Monday, 22nd of February, 2010

Front Page

Hills remain tense

Anger continued to brew in the remote Baghaihat area over Saturday's killing of indigenous people and arson attacks on their houses, with the indigenous people holding the army responsible for the incidents.

BDR won't get magistracy power

The government last month rejected Bangladesh Rifles' proposal for new laws delegating magistracy to the border guards to conduct mobile courts and hold trial of cross-border offenders and hand out punishment.

1952 revisited

Observance of this year's Ekushey in the capital included a rather extraordinary recreation of the 30 minutes of the day 58 years ago that ended in bloodshed for protecting the right of the Bangalee people to have their mother tongue as a state language, and made the day to become International Mother Language Day.

75 out of 97 level crossings left open

At least 75 of the 97 level crossings on the Bangabandhu Bridge-Joydevpur rail line have been left without gates and gatemen rendering them risky for pedestrians and vehicles.

PM opens centre of all mother languages

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday inaugurated the International Mother Language Institute and said the institute will contribute to preservation of all languages of the world.

50 skipped court thru' HC bail, stay

At least 50 high profile fugitive corruption convicts in some 50 criminal cases, including Awami League leader HBM Iqbal, have obtained bail or stay order, or both, on their conviction without surrendering to the court.

Rajuk to offer plot, flat in Jhilmil project

The government will call for fresh applications for the Jhilmil Residential Project within a few months in order to ease the housing shortage in Dhaka.

4 prayer houses set ablaze

At least four prayer houses were burnt down allegedly by Bangalee settlers in Gangaram Mukh area and nearby villages under Baghaichhari upazila in Rangamati during Saturday's arson attack.

Concern over violent clash at CHT

Different socio-political organisations have expressed concern over the violent clash involving indigenous people, Bangalee settlers and the army, torching houses and killings of at least two persons in Rangamati.

Khaleda not given due order

BNP have alleged that party leader and chairperson Khaleda Zia did not pay homage to the Language Movement in the appointed order because Dhaka University authorities mismanaged the usual protocols.

Businessman dies in AL-BNP clash

A man died and nine others were injured early yesterday in separate clashes between Awami League and BNP activists over placing wreaths at Amishapara Shaheed Minar in Sonaimuri, Chatkhil and Hatia upazila of Noakhali.

Covered van vanishes with RMG items for export

A covered van driver has allegedly fled away with around 16,000 readymade garments items on the way to Chittagong port from Gazipur.

SC bar polls on Mar 24-25

The annual election of the Supreme Court Bar Association for its 14 executive posts including president and secretary will be held on March 24 and 25.

Boy strangled

Unidentified criminals strangled a boy, aged around 11, and left his body at a field of Basila in the city's Mohammadpur yesterday.

Netanyahu okayed Hamas hit mission

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met members of a hit squad at Mossad headquarters shortly before they went to Dubai to kill a Hamas commander, Britain's Sunday Times newspaper reported.

Noor-e-Alam passes away

Noor-e-Alam Ziku, one of the founders of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD), passed away yesterday at the age of 72 at Shamarita Hospital in the city.

Zardari didn't ask for Swiss case reopening

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's spokesman Farhatullah Babar has rejected reports that he (Zardari) has asked the law ministry to reopen the cases against him that are pending in Swiss courts.

Stable Indo-Pak relationship on their own terms at appropriate time: US

As the foreign secretary-level talks between India and Pakistan are set to resume after a gap of over 14 months, the United States, which is looking forward to a stable relationship between the two neighbouring nations, says that improved relations between the two countries will be on their own terms at the appropriate time.

Lawmaker Latif does it again

Awami League lawmaker MA Latif from Chittagong-10 (Patenga) constituency allegedly misbehaved again with an on duty policeman early hours yesterday while placing floral wreath at the Central Shaheed Minar in Chittagong.

US support for Afghan warlord; a key test of new policy

The United States is helping an Afghan warlord and former enemy to take control of a district bordering Pakistan, military officers and independent experts say.

B'day crackers scare people at night in city

People in different areas of the capital got scared late last night hearing sound like bomb explosions.

Portugal floods kill 42

Rescue workers dug through heaps of mud, boulders and debris yesterday in Madeira, searching for victims buried by flash floods and mudslides that already killed at least 42 people on the popular Portuguese island.

Editorial

A realistic approach to solving regional issues

The consensus of view among the members of the South Asian countries reached at a discussion meeting held recently in Dhaka involving participants from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, on the indispensability of common approach to solving apparently intractable problems between the countries of the region, is very welcome indeed. The meeting was organised by the local chapter of Bangladesh-Bharat-Pakistan People's Forum.

Closing down the BDR shops

The Director General of Bangladesh Rifles has informed the country that the border force will soon wind up the commercial outlets it has been operating in the capital for the last two years or more. We tend to think that, given the nature of the duties and responsibilities the BDR as a force is expected to carry out, the decision to do away with the eleven BDR shops is a judicious one as it will enable the force to return to the basics upon which it was established originally. One need hardly point out that such business activities on the part of the BDR, ever since they commenced in 2007, have raised eyebrows if not exactly questions, with large numbers of people seeing little reason why a disciplinary force should be engaging itself in business activities like any other commercial venture. Major General Mainul Islam has pretty aptly pointed to the vicious business cycle (his own words) the BDR has become trapped in over the BDR shops scattered across Dhaka.

Whose Ekushey?

I was getting myself into the spirit of Amar Ekushey. Bangalis of the neo-consumerist age, our best stories are coming from colourful ads on TV. I whirled through all the channels, to catch the cream, the best ones on constant repeat.

Method in the madness

THIS is madness -- that's been the refrain on the government's decision to rename the country's major international airport. As the Daily Star editor asks: For God's sake why? Possible answers to Mr. Anam's questions can be found in an earlier article, All in, by Zafar Sobhan, one of his colleagues. Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. It's just that this method could derail Bangladesh for a long time to come.

Sports

'Middle-order a worry'

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan has found ample reason to be satisfied with his team's performance and a few causes for concern from the recently concluded tour of New Zealand. And one of those concerns is the lack of form of the middle-order, especially that of talented batsman Mohammad Ashraful.

England in city

A 28-member England cricket team, with 16 players, arrived in Dhaka last night. The Lions will play three one-day internationals and two Tests on their month-long tour with two limited-overs and a three-day practice matches.

Hosts go 1-0 up

India overcame the absence of four top stars to beat South Africa by one run in a thrilling one-day international on Sunday and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Pakistan draw series

Abdul Razzaq single-handedly changed the course of the match with a brilliant innings as Pakistan beat England by four wickets to level their two-match Twenty20 series 1-1 here on Saturday.

Indo-Bangla Games add 3 new sports

Organisers have decided to include three new disciplines in the third Indo-Bangladesh Bangla Games to be held in Kolkata from March 24 to 26.

McKay out of Aussie Tests

New Zealand fast bowler Andy McKay has been forced out of the Tests against Australia due to a stress fracture in his foot. McKay had hoped to return for the two matches after being ruled out of the one-dayers and Twenty20s against Australia starting next week, but has been diagnosed with a fracture after bone scans in Wellington last week.

Butcher new Zim coach

England-born Alan Butcher was named Zimbabwe cricket coach on Saturday after the contract of Walter Chawaguta was not renewed.

Sabrina too frustrates

After finishing bottom in the women's 50m rifle 3 position pair event on the opening day of the Commonwealth Shooting Championship, Bangladesh's veteran shooter Sabrina Sultana finished eighth in the individual 50m rifle 3 position at the Dr. Karni Singh Shooting Range in New Delhi in India yesterday.

Blues regain edge

Chelsea opened up a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League after Didier Drogba's double inspired a 2-0 win at Wolves and Everton claimed a 3-1 victory over Manchester United on Saturday.

Carlo happy at boost

Carlo Ancelotti believes Chelsea's vital Premier League win at Wolves was the perfect boost ahead of Wednesday's Champions League encounter with their former manager Jose Mourinho and his Inter Milan team.

Reds galore as Inter draw

Nine-man Inter Milan stretched their lead at the top of Serie A to eight points after a 0-0 draw with 10-man Sampdoria in a nasty, edgy encounter at the San Siro on Saturday.

Barca outclass Racing

Spanish league leaders Barcelona put their injury concerns to one side as they cruised to a 4-0 win over Racing Santander on Saturday.

Bayern's streak ends

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal said he was chasing trophies, not records, as the German giants' 13-game winning streak came to a shock end on Saturday with a 1-1 draw against local rivals Nuremberg.

'I'm better than Mourinho'

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri on Saturday claimed that, pound for pound, he is doing a better job than Jose Mourinho at champions Inter Milan.

Udinese sack de Biasi

Italian Serie A side Udinese sacked coach Gianni de Biasi on Sunday, replacing him with Pasquale Marino, a former coach who was fired to make way for de Biasi just two months ago.

'We can keep Rodwell'

David Moyes believes Everton can keep their youngsters Jack Rodwell and Dan Gosling out of the clutches of the big boys.

C'Ron shocked at Maderia disaster

Football star Cristiano Ronaldo said Sunday he had been left "incredulous" and "shocked" by the mudslide disaster which hit his native Madeira and promised help for relief efforts.

Rooney hails 'scary' Capello

England fans can feel even more secure with their national team in the hands of Fabio Capello after star player Wayne Rooney gave the Italian's thorough style a glowing appraisal in comparison to his predecessors.

Venus keeps Dubai title

Venus Williams became the most successful active woman player on the WTA Tour when she secured her 42nd title by successfully defending the Dubai Open here on Saturday.

Maria rules Memphis

Maria Sharapova put her disappointing Australian Open performance behind her Saturday, as she beat Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-1 to win the WTA Tour's Memphis title.

Styris not afraid of Australia

A day after Shane Bond predicted New Zealand would give Australia "their biggest test of the summer", the all-rounder Scott Styris has said the tourists are not as good as they might think they are.

England stars urged not to play in IPL?

The seven England players lined up to participate in next month's Indian Premier League (IPL) have been urged to miss the tournament due to fears over security threats, according to the Daily Telegraph.

Razzaq rampage hailed

Spectacular scoring feats aren't exactly a novelty in Twenty20 cricket, but both England's captain, Paul Collingwood, and his opposite number, Shoaib Malik, had to concede that Abdul Razzaq's ferocious late onslaught in the second Twenty20 in Dubai had taken the breath away. From an uncompromising position of 78 for 5 after 13 overs, Razzaq turned the contest on its head with a brilliant unbeaten 46 from 18 balls, including five sweetly struck sixes that left no room for equivocation.

Federer out of Dubai Open

Ailing top-seed Roger Federer has pulled out of the two-million-dollar ATP Dubai Open due to a lung infection, officials said here Sunday.

Sports journo's father dies

Shah Aminur Rahman, former deputy secretary of Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation and khadim of Manikganj's Garpara Emam Bari Darbar Sharif, died of cardiac arrest early Sunday at the Holy Family Hospital in the city. He was 82.

Business

Home loans on a roll

Housing finance by specialised private providers has been rising rapidly in the past few years, fuelled by growing demand from the urban middle-class, statistics show.

A month of florists

Flower business has witnessed brisk sales this month mainly because of three occasions linked to the traditional symbols of love and honour.

33 internet providers to roll out voice services

The users connected to the internet through local internet service providers (ISPs) can now talk to each other and telecom subscribers, as the telecom regulator made a tariff directive to commercially launch IP telephony services.

Khulna IT fair ends

The five-day Khulna Digital Expo Fair-2010 came to a close yesterday.

Gaibandha boro farming nears completion

Boro paddy farming is nearing completion in all the seven upazilas of the district during the current Boro season.

US hopes to ride out rough patch with China

In the span of a few weeks, China has angrily denounced the United States twice after President Barack Obama met the Dalai Lama and approved an arms package to Taiwan.

Crude oil prices enjoy bumper week

Oil prices soared this week on the back of buoyant investor sentiment, a weaker dollar and heightened tensions between crude-exporting Iran and the West, traders said.

Diamond-rich Botswana's economy loses sparkle

Botswana for years was hailed as an economic success story, but the collapse in demand for the country's diamonds has hit revenues hard and raised questions about an ambitious spending scheme.

Stock frenzy raises jitters

In a run-down office in downtown Dhaka, investor Mizanur Rahman has just spent his life savings of 3,000 dollars on shares despite knowing nothing about market fundamentals.

Indonesia aims to be world's breadbasket

Following Brazil's trail, Indonesia is encouraging foreign and local investors to lease huge swathes of fertile countryside and help make the country a major food producer.

Japan to review car recall system

Japan's transport ministry may review and improve its car recall system, reports said Sunday, as Toyota Motor Corp. battles accusations it may have delayed acting on drivers' complaints.

China tightens bank lending rules

Banking regulators in China have ordered institutions to tighten controls on risk and carefully scrutinize borrowers' ability to pay their debts in a new step to rein in lending.

Fed chief to throw light on monetary policy

US Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke is expected to shed light this week on the central bank's sudden decision to hike an emergency bank-lending rate, triggering speculation on monetary tightening.

Last-ditch talks planned to avert Lufthansa strike

German flag-carrier Lufthansa and restive pilots said Saturday they were prepared to hold last-ditch talks to avert a crippling strike after an appeal by Transport Minister Peter Ramsauer.

New protest against prices in Russia

More than 1,500 people took to the streets Sunday in Russia's north to protest living costs -- the first of a new series of challenges to the Kremlin in coming weeks, organizers said.

Iceland confirms receipt of revised Icesave offer

Iceland's finance ministry has received a revised proposal from Britain and the Netherlands on the repayment of $5.7 billion to the two countries following the collapse of the Icesave online bank, a spokesman said Saturday.

Anglo American profits halve

Anglo American's net profit more than halved to 2.4 billion dollars (1.8 billion euros) in 2009 as last year's economic downturn slashed the prices of metals, the mining giant announced on Friday.

China hikes rice price to boost output

China has boosted the price it pays for rice by up to 10 percent this year to encourage farmers to plant more and increase production, state media said Sunday.

Hong Kong police probe takeover bid for telecom giant

Hong Kong police are probing tycoon Richard Li over his failed bid to buy out telecommunications giant PCCW, a legal source and press reports said Sunday.

Malaysia's Penang state bids farewell to Victorian railway

After years of breakdowns and stranded tourists, Malaysia's island resort of Penang bid farewell to its rickety Victorian funicular railway Sunday.

IMF restores Zimbabwe's voting rights

The International Monetary Fund on Friday restored Zimbabwe's voting rights after a suspension of nearly seven years over financial arrears, but said the country remained ineligible for loans.

Metropolitan

Past govts used police against people

The governments in the past sometimes had used police against people using the force's loyalty to the rulers, but police are now acting as people's friends, said Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner AKM Shahidul Hoque yesterday.

Judicial probe demanded

Indigenous people staged a huge demonstration in the port city yesterday protesting Saturday's attack on ethnic minorities and their houses at Baghaichhari in Rangamati.

Toxic smokes kill youth during Ctg fire

A youth was killed due to inhalation of toxic smokes in a fire in Chawk Bazar area of the port city of Chittagong early yesterday.

Shishu Hospital opens Gazipur branch today

The specialised Dhaka Shishu Hospital will launch its first ever operation outside the capital today, hospital sources said.

Youth dies in Buriganga boat capsize

Fire brigade divers yesterday recovered the body of a youth who had been missing since a boat capsized in the river Buriganga near Babu Bazar in the city on Saturday evening.

6 JU students expelled

Six students were expelled from Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday for one year for their alleged involvement in criminal activities on the campus.

Plot on to wipe out govt's achievements

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said anti-liberation forces have been hatching conspiracy to wipe out the achievements of the present government.

Record visitors at Ekushey book fair

It was a fairly shiny day for book lovers who thronged the Bangla Academy since early morning yesterday to visit the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela being imbued with the spirit of the Language Movement.

Children learn letters with fun

The pen moves unevenly and draws a triangle as a three-year-old boy holds it attentively. The boy looks on as an elderly man jointly holds the pen with him and draws a circle near the top of the triangle. Then they join the triangle to the circle.

BNP lawmaker, 25 others assaulted by Feni BCL men

At least 25 BNP leaders and activists, including a lawmaker, were injured in an attack by local BCL and Jubo League activists while they were placing wreaths at Shaheed Minar in Sonagazi Upazila Health Complex in the district on Saturday midnight.

Relatives protest refusal to receive food for jail inmates

Several hundred relatives of the inmates of Dhaka Central Jail staged a demonstration in front of the jail gate yesterday as the authorities refused to accept food, which they carried for their inmates.

Call for trial of war criminals

Amar Ekushey, also the International Mother Language Day, was observed with solemnity and in the most befitting manner across the country yesterday, paying glowing tributes to the language movement martyrs.

Bangladesh missions observe Ekushey

The Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day was observed in Bangladesh missions abroad yesterday in a befitting manner.

Expats observe Ekushey in Japan

The expatriate Bangladeshis living in Nagoya city in Japan observed the International Mother Language Day through a daylong programme yesterday.

Khulna college students, teachers boycott class

Teachers and students of Khalishpur Mohsin Degree College have decided to boycott classes today in protest against vandalism by a group of Awami League leaders at the college Shaheed Minar on Saturday midnight.

BYLC programme launched

Bangladesh Youth Leadership Centre (BYLC) launched the BYLC Young Scholars Programme 2010 at the Koraile Slum in the city's Gulshan area yesterday.

2 Bangladeshis shot by Indians

Indian Khasi men shot two Bangladeshis when they went near the Kanaighat border in Sylhet for collecting timber yesterday afternoon.

Homage paid to Language Movement martyrs

Different political and social organisations yesterday observed the Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day, paying glowing tributes to the martyrs of the Language Movement.

National

Highway becoming death trap

Around 1,500 people have been killed and three thousand others injured in nearly 1,200 road accidents on the highway between Mirzapur and Bangabandhu Multipurpose Bridge since opening of the bridge in 1998.

Study under open sky as storm blows away school

Students of Panchahar Jalal Uddin Registered Primary School at remote Panchahar village in Tangaboo union under Gafargaon upazila attend their classes under the trees as the schoolhouse, blown away by a storm seven years ago, is yet to be re-constructed.

Another brick built wall, more objects dug out

The archaeologists of Bangladesh-France joint excavation team have dug out more brick built ancient structures including a wall of Mauryan period at Mohasthangarh site in Bogra recently.

Bombs recovered, outlaws arrested

Police on Saturday arrested two outlaws and recovered seven bombs in Kushtia and seized five bombs from a house in Satkhira.

'Jiner Badsha' caught

Law enforcers arrested a so-called 'Jiner Badsha' (king of genies) in Nilphamari and two criminal gang members in Magura yesterday and the day before.

Love for mother tongue brings them together

Thousands of Bangla speaking Indians and Bangladeshis came together breaking barrier of national borders and sang "Amar bhaier rokte rangano ekushe February` to pay their tribute to the martyrs of Language Movement.

31 hurt as ruling party men clash in 2 dists

At least 31 people, including three policemen, were injured in clashes between rival ruling party men in Gaibandha and Rangpur districts over placing wreaths at shaheed minar on Ekushey.

Language hero Motiar wants to donate land for old home

Motiar Rahman, a language veteran of the district, is passing his days lonely and almost unsung despite his role in 1952.

Arrest Faruk's killers, demands rally at RU

The newly formed Secular Democratic Students' Action Council in Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday demanded the government bring the killers of Faruk Hossain to justice.

Biogas plant gaining popularity in north

Biogas plant is gaining popularity among the people of two upazilas in Thakurgaon and Dinajpur districts for producing environment-friendly fuel for cooking and power generation.

Letters

Tree plantation

The total population of Dhaka city is more than 1.6 crore. Majority of the people are working in different offices, mills, factories, hotels, doing business etc. for their livelihood.

Our day

21st February is a remarkable day for all Bengalis all over the world. The significance of this day is vast. But we must practise more Bengali than we usually do.

Relocate Bishwa Ijtema site

During the days of Biswa Ijtema, the traffic jams become unbearable. The entire Airport Road and Uttara area remain blocked, causing immense sufferings to commuters and also air passengers returning to or leaving Dhaka. There is also no arrangement for emergency vehicles like Fire Brigades or Ambulances in case of an emergency.

Biman's last hope

If liveries and logos can turn around a commercial airline-- so be it! It is Biman's last hope, to take off from a financial mess, and fly smoothly.

Rude doctors

We usually know and believe that doctors take the patients under their wings to cure them. But last Thursday I was thunderstruck by the strange, unexpected and rather rude behaviour of a doctor in Ctg. Govt Medical College Hospital. I went there with my cousin Parul, an emergency patient who was on the verge of death. I entered into the doctors' room and requested a doctor to check up my cousin. The doctor replied, ''The admission file of your patient has not come yet in my hand and so I can't check up your patient.'' After 10 minutes, when the admission file was in the doctor's hand, I again requested the doctor to check up my cousin. That time the doctor angrily said to me, ''Just go outside and I will check up your patient when it will be time.'' Further the doctor told me, ''Don't enter into my room and disturb me.'' This unexpected behaviour drove me up to the wall, but it was a bitter pill to swallow.

Hillary's remarks

If any one or any group feels that they will achieve a great goal through terrorism, it will be a useless and unproductive effort. Such barbaric inhuman activities will only end in a fiasco. I think, every quarter should perceive the fact that terrorism cannot yield any positive outcome but destruction of lives and properties only contribute to increasing mistrust and hostilities among peoples of different cast and creed. Meanwhile, I would appeal to the Iraqi Muslims to end conflicts within themselves and other communities as Islam strongly pleads for maintaining peace and tranquillity. Let the differences between Muslims be resolved and peace established in Iraq. Meanwhile, I join US secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in condemning the recent series of bombing attacks against Shia pilgrims in Iraq :

Ganges water and Tipaimukh Dam

On the eve of visit of our Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to India and during her presence in New Delhi our attention was drawn to two news items published in some of our national dailies which are epitomised below:-

Wasa affairs

Wasa supplies water through one water meter to a building, be it multi-storeyed or single unit and thus consumers are unaware about their individual consumptions. On the other hand, Wasa collects Taka 14 for one cubic meter of water supply for domestic consumers but this rate is Taka 46 in case of commercial consumer for the same one cubic meter water supply and naturally this rate is very, very high comparatively. The Wasa revenue inspectors compel the commercial consumers to induce corruption through underhand dealings.

Renaming a ministry

According to newspaper report it has been proposed that the Ministry of Civil Aviation & Tourism be renamed in Bengali as the Ministry of Biman & Tourists.

Border killings

Re: Daily Star, Page 3, 10th February 2010/The Main Reasons for Border Killings?

Indigenous peoples

The AL-led grand alliance has come to power with the slogan of “Din Bodoler Sanad”. As any other community we, indigenous communities, believe that we need changes in our attitudes, behaviours and in our mentality towards others. There is no denying that 45 indigenous communities have been living in Bangladesh for decades. They had a pioneer role in the Anti-British Movement, 1971 Liberation War and other nation building process.

Save the tigers

As our national and majestic animal, Royal Bengal Tiger has its own charm. And we should be lucky to have them in our Sundarbans. But very few people understand the real value of the tigers. They are killing tigers just for entertainment. As there is scarcity of food in the forest, the great cats are bound to come to nearby villages. It is really unwise to kill them.

Websites

In present technological world internet performs a great and important role. It is an easy way to get any kind of information about any subject. But at present there are a lot of websites in internet which contain nude photos and videos. The most dangerous matter is that the young generation, especially, the school and college going students, view all these sites.

People's woes

Dhaka is a mega city. Here, going from one place to another has become a big challenge for us, the ordinary and poor people (not for rich and high ranking people who have their own or official car). Going just only from 'Mohakhali' to 'Farmgate' is a 'long-term process'. Previously, there was a 'Volvo' bus which performed a good service. But now there is no Farmgate going bus except local buses which are always overcrowded and risky.

A minister indeed!

The tragic death of Abu Bakar has touched the whole nation. His parents sent him to the university to supplement their income being enlightened with education. But instead, he returned to his parents dead. How could Home Minister Sahara Khatun term the death as an "isolated one"? If the death of a university student is a normal incident to her, then who is there in the country to save the brilliant students?

Death of a boy

The heartbreaking death of Hamim Sheikh, the latest victim of reckless driving in the city, has apparently brought out the grim picture of road-hazards that we encounter every day. The distressing demise of the five years old boy of Willes Little Flower School has explicitly underscored the “cheapness” of human life in a country like Bangladesh. It's a country where in all sectors we have sheer lack of legal standards and effective implementation of law. Astounding facts are now coming out regarding unfit vehicles, fake driving licenses and unbelievable statistics of road accidents in the city. It appears that the relevant authorities that were supposed to take vital steps regarding these irregularities, have been sleeping in seclusion for long. I really don't know what initiatives (if any) our current and previous governments have taken so far to rectify this trend of mismanagement in public transport. I think we certainly have the right to be served well by our elected representatives.

Residents of Dhanmondi

I fully agree with the suggestions expressed by Mr. Saleh Mohammed Ayub in your column. Construction of more bridges can be taken on the Dhanmondi lake at Road # 3A,4/A which will help a number of vehicles to spill out from the heavy congestions during the school timing. As a matter of fact two years back, we saw a move in this direction and stones and sands were accumulated at the Road # 4/A point of the lake. For some unknown reasons, those stones and bricks were removed presumably at the instruction of some VIPs who did not bother about the convenience of common public. May be their own interest was hampered. One wonders who decided at first to have a bridge on that point and then who decided against it. Shouldn't there be a coordinated effort and planning which is of much public interest? We should also know which are these long hands who can stop such an important public work. Alas! Poor Bangladesh.

Attack on indigenous leaders

We are really anxious! Around 45 indigenous communities in Bangladesh are really in an endangered situation for the last few decades. The recent attack on topmost indigenous leaders of Bangladesh shows their endangered position.

Italian visa

The visa seekers, especially those having sponsorship from Italy, are being harassed through inordinate delay or even by refusal on various pleas, though the visa seekers have genuine relevant papers.

International

Marines corner Taliban holdouts in Afghanistan

Marines and Afghan units converged on a dangerous western quarter of the Taliban stronghold of Marjah yesterday; with Nato forces facing "determined resistance" as their assault on the southern town entered its second week.

CIA wants Pakistan to hand over Baradar to Afghanistan

The US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) wants Pakistan to extradite the Taliban's second-in command Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who was nabbed earlier this month in Karachi, to an American prison near Kabul for further interrogation.

Pakistan shelves plan of moving to World Bank

Pakistan has shelved its plans of moving to the World Bank (WB) for resolving the long pending water distribution issues with India, as the two countries are preparing themselves for foreign secretary-level talks later this month.

UN returns empty handed from Myanmar

A visit by a UN rights envoy to Myanmar has yielded little progress ahead of elections, experts say, in the latest setback for the world body's efforts in the military-ruled nation.

Israel rejects recognition of Palestinian state

Israel yesterday rejected the idea of foreign countries recognising a Palestinian state without a negotiated peace agreement, after France's foreign minister hinted at such a scenario.

VOA, BBC arms of US, British spy agencies: Iran

Iran's police chief on Saturday accused the Voice of America and the BBC of being the arms of US and British intelligence agencies, and warned of severe repercussions for journalists and activists caught having contacts with them, state media reported.

6 Qaeda 'militants killed' in Philippines

Philippine marines killed a top al-Qaeda-linked militant commander and five other extremists early yesterday in an assault on a rebel encampment on a southern island, a senior military commander said.

All 'orphans' had parents

Although a US Baptist group said it was trying to rescue 33 "orphans" by taking them out of earthquake-ravaged Haiti, all the children have close family still alive, The Associated Press has found.

Niger junta promises polls

Niger's new military leaders promised to hold elections, but failed to name a date, as thousands rallied in support of the coup that ousted the strongman of the uranium-rich west African nation.

Obama on health care high wire

In a crucial week of high wire politics, Barack Obama is seeking to transform his top priority health care plan, now a liability for his presidency, into a trump card to outwit Republicans.

Singing 'rewires' damaged brain

Teaching stroke patients to sing "rewires" their brains, helping them recover their speech, say scientists.

Brown denies hitting staff

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said he has "never, never" hit anybody as his office dismissed media allegations of staff intimidation which have threatened his pre-election fight back.

Militants blow up 2 Pak boys' schools

Militants blew up two boys' schools in northwest Pakistan yesterday, the latest in a wave of attacks by Islamist extremists targeting educational institutions, local officials said.

Pak intelligence warns of terror attack on NWFP assembly

Pakistani intelligence agencies have warned about a possible terror strike on the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) assembly building.

Lanka to set up villages for ex-rebels

The Sri Lankan government said Saturday it will set up community villages to rehabilitate former Tamil Tiger rebels.

4,000 Taiwan men reported abuse by wives

More than 4,000 Taiwan men sought help after being abused by wives last year, the Central News Agency said yesterday.

New age, tweet-up diplomacy

This is instant diplomacy in the twitter age. When Bahrain's Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohamed Al Khalifa met Indian Minister of State for External Affairs Shashi Tharoor last week, a ministerial tweet-up followed. This was perhaps the first time there was real time reporting on a bilateral diplomatic meeting in India - by the participants themselves!

Rushdie accuses AI of 'moral bankruptcy'

Salman Rushdie has slammed Amnesty International's association with former Guantanamo Bay detainee Moazzam Begg, by saying that the charity is suffering from "moral bankruptcy" as it "has lost the ability to distinguish right from wrong."

Arts & Entertainment

Pabna Ekushey Book fair

Renowned human rights activist Advocate Sultana Kamal emphasised the need to develop reading habits. "Reading books," she added, "sharpen the creativity of a human being." She was addressing a gathering as chief guest at the Pabna Ekushey Book Fair recently.

Dhaka imbued with Ekushey hues

It's the eve of Ekushey. A little before midnight a large crowd gathers in front of Shaheed Minar, forming serpentine queues to place wreaths and flowers on the monument. On their lips is the famous song "Amar Bhai-er Roktey Rangano Ekushey February". And before you know it the clock strikes 12:00, heralding in Ekushey (21) February.

The Art of Words

The romantic young lyricist Mohammad Rafiquzzaman was in for a surprise when his very first song was chosen for the prestigious “E-masher Gaan” on Radio. The programme centring on leading artistes, was aired four times a week on Radio Bangladesh. Four eminent singers Ferdousi Rahman, Anjuman Ara Begum, Abdul Hadi and Monu De rendered that particular song, and Rafiquzzaman received a rousing response from his peers. Noted music director Azad Rahman had composed the song.

Tribute to language movement martyrs

A painting competition for children was held on Sunday morning to observe the International Mother Language Day at Thakurgaon Eco Pathshala Shaheed Minar premises.

Udhichi Shilpi Goshthi stages “Mandhar”

The artistes of Udhichi Shilpi Goshthi staged a play marking the 7th biennial district conference of the Trade Union Centre (TUC) at Malgodam area in the district town on February 19.

Weeklong film screening at DU

To mark International Mother Language Day, a weeklong film screening , titled "Amar Bhashar Chalachchitra 1416" , begins today at the TSC Auditorium of Dhaka University. Dhaka University Film Society (DUFS) has organised the screening, which will feature 28 acclaimed films made in Bangla, both from Bangladesh and India.

Chandana Majumdar on “Raat Biraatey”

Folk singer Chandana Majumdar is the guest of tonight's episode late-night street show "Raat Biraatey". The programme will be aired on Banglavision at 11:15pm.

OP-ED

Winter Olympics is not an Olympics

THE Olympics Movement and the Olympics Games are supposed to embrace the whole world. The so-called "Winter Olympics" does not. Only the cold and rich nations participate in these games. And like the ice and snow on which the games are staged, the participants, too, are predominantly lily-white.

Parliament: What art thou?

A parliament is a sacred entity. By itself, it represents something that is beyond the ordinary. Like the heart in a human body, it is the most important organ of a well functioning democracy.

The boys of Chidambaram

THE best way to manage a controversy is to initiate it. Omar Abdullah was not giving voice to some sudden inner revelation when he suggested that the "boys" who had gone across the Line of Control could be welcomed back, surely as part of some ongoing Indo-Pak deal. Ghulam Nabi Azad's riposte stole opposition space, another clever ploy, if it was prearranged. It might not have been. Azad could have been motivated by legitimate concerns. Home Minister Chidambaram's support to Omar Abdullah, however, confirmed that there had been consultations between the two before Omar broached such a slippery subject.


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