The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Saturday, October 25, 2014


News of: Friday, 12th of March, 2010

Front Page

Sue MPs, spare bureaucrats

The cabinet committee formed to review the anti-graft laws has finally proposed immunity only for government officials, making it obligatory for the Anti-Corruption Commission to take permission before filing cases against them.

Govt targets beggars

The government has initiated a programme to make the country beggar free within five years, by rehabilitating beggars through employment and other incentives.

Hasina alleges 'slow poisoning' in sub-jail

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday in parliament alleged that efforts were made to kill her by mixing poison with her food while detained in a sub-jail during the state of emergency.

BDR proposes joint border management

The border guards of Bangladesh and India yesterday agreed to ensure that no innocent civilians are killed in the boarder guards' fire.

Registration act ignored

The home ministry's decision to make mandatory submission of copies of national identity cards to buy SIM cards runs counter to the national identity registration act.

Walkout, noisy protests in JS again

Parliament proceedings were disrupted for five minutes yesterday over the opposition chief whip's allegation that the prime minister's son Sajeeb Wajed Joy is involvement in illegal VoIP business.

Niko graft case against Hasina quashed

The High Court yesterday quashed all proceedings in the Niko corruption case against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina filed by the Anti-corruption Commission during the caretaker government.

Compensation formula to be drafted by June

The government yesterday decided to finalise a compensation formula for the affected people of Barapukuria coal mining project area by next June.

More jobs in Qatar assured

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said Qatar would soon recruit more skilled and semi-skilled manpower from Bangladesh.

ADB help sought to assess benefits

Bangladesh has sought Asian Development Bank assistance in carrying out a study on the economic benefits of providing transit facility to India.

20 climate projects get Tk 267 crore

The government has allocated Tk 267 crore for implementing 20 approved projects meant for tackling the impacts of climate change on life and livelihood and the ecology of the country.

Cops now put the blame on people

Despite taking various measures over the last three months, Dhaka Metropolitan Police could do little to lessen the severe traffic congestion in the capital. They now put the blame on the tendency of commuters to violate the rules of the road.

BCL activists vandalise college

Authorities of Rajshahi New Government Degree College yesterday suspended its first year admission process following vandalism of Bangladesh Chhatra League activists demanding quota in the admission.

Stop collecting toll from bus operators

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner yesterday asked leaders of Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Samity not to collect toll from the city bus operators who are not members of the organisation.

OC sued for death in custody

A case was filed with a Dhaka court yesterday against the officer-in-charge and the sub-inspector of Ramna Police Station on charges of torturing an accused to death in their custody.

Fonseka faces court martial

Sri Lanka's military yesterday announced court martial proceedings against its former chief Sarath Fonseka for engaging in politics while in uniform and violating military procurement laws.

13 BCL men charged in Rajshahi

Police yesterday pressed charges against 13 leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in connection with the case of Bangladesh Chhatra Moitree leader Sunny murder at Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in January.

First BD-Eng Test from today

Bangladesh are determined to put the Rokibul Hasan episode behind to push visiting England hard when the first Test of the two-match series starts at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here today.

HR records improve, but extra-judicial killings rise

The US State Department has said that there was a slight increase in extra-judicial killings and politically motivated violence in Bangladesh with the return of an elected government.

Editorial

Cracking down on cell phone crimes

It is certainly makes sense for the government to crack down on cell phone crimes through tightening the rules about the use of mobile phones in the country. Why such a step has been so long in coming is rather surprising, given that efforts have been underway since 2006 to check the misuse of cell phones, especially in the matter of utilizing them for criminal activity. More worryingly, we fail to understand why the authorities have till now been unable to ensure a foolproof registration of mobile phone users despite the fact that it is not really hard to do the job. In the recent past, much concern has been expressed about the threats that individuals and organizations have been receiving from unscrupulous and nefarious elements. Needless to say, these threats have generally centred around demands for money. These criminal elements have been rather active in trying to extort money through their faceless threats to people and organizations that are generally known to be well off economically.

Where plenty is a curse!

Whereas bumper cash crops should put a smile on the face of producers and give a wafting sense of comfort to consumers, they are actually leaving the former accursed and the latter bemoaning predictable loss of relief in prices. The case in point is the abundant availability of potatoes and tomatoes vis-à-vis our stark incapacity to store or conserve them. In no time, on being hauled from the field, can their freshness evaporate, they wilt and rot before the very eyes of the producers, unless of course these have been promptly stacked and tucked away into the safe temperature of cold stores.

Sports

Shakib unruffled by drama

The first Test of the two-match series between Bangladesh and England gets underway at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium today under scorching heat. The big question is whether Bangladesh can pull off a big surprise against a new-look England in the five-day game? However, it was Bangladesh batsman Rokibul Hasan who hogged the spotlight yesterday. All the interest has centered on the surprise retirement decision of Rokibul as everybody was searching for the real reason behind the mysterious decision.

'BCB didn't pay me any attention'

A day after shocking the country with his sudden retirement, batsman Rokibul Hasan confirmed that his grievances against the cricket authorities drove him to this end. But he denied that his emotions got the better of him.

Rocky times for BCB

After the episode with the selection of Mashrafe Bin Mortaza only a small intervening period has passed for another incident to rock the Bangladesh cricket team in Rokibul Hasan's sudden retirement, which has left many questions unanswered.

Reminiscing Manu as a cricketer

He was fondly known as Manu Singh to those of us who played alongside him at Azad Boys Club. A gregarious and very cheerful personality, Monawar Hossain Manu was a cricketer par excellence. I remember the matches in which Azad Boys were either playing Abahani or Mohammedan as it was Manu who more often than not either got us crucial breakthroughs or was even instrumental in winning us so many crucial matches with his fastish off breaks. A bowling action that was so reminiscent of a cowboy ready to slap leather as he gave a little hop on one leg before crossing the umpire to hurl those innocuous looking deliveries that so often deceived the batsmen into submission. A quintessential figure was Manu for whom Azad Boys club meant a lot and be in triumph or in defeat Manu was one who always had a good laugh and was always the first one along with his beautiful wife Gajju bhabi to be present at Ashraful bhai's house for some good lively moments during the evenings of the match.

Muktis off the pit

Brothers Union leapfrogged three places beating strugglers Shuktara Jubo Sangsad by a solitary goal while Muktijoddha Sangsad beat Chittagong Mohammedan 2-1 to dump them to bottom position Bangladesh League yesterday.

Rating chess

FIDE Master Minhaz Udiin Ahmed Sagar maintained solo lead with 5.5 points at the end of the sixth round of Prime Bank 12th International Rating Chess at the Chess Federation Hall room yesterday.

Beanibazar fined Tk one lakh

Beanibazar SC were handed a TK one lakh for the lapse in organization and discipline that led to unsavoury incidents during a match against Mohammedan SC in the Bangladesh League on Tuesday at the Sylhet Stadium.

Germany in final

Two-time defending champions Germany stormed into the final of the men's field hockey World Cup with an emphatic 4-1 win over lacklustre England on Thursday.

Aussies retain Trophy

The Chappell-Hadlee Trophy has remained in Australian hands after Ricky Ponting and Cameron White led their team to a six-wicket win that secured the series 3-1. Rain played some part in the outcome of the fourth match on Thursday, but it was mostly New Zealand's watered-down batting display that left their fans feeling gloomy and consigned Saturday's fifth match in Wellington to dead-rubber status.

Hosts' huge win

Zimbabwe were undermined by Darren Sammy's career-best spell of four wickets for 26 runs from 10 overs as he led West Indies to a 141-run win over Zimbabwe in the third ODI against West Indies on Wednesday.

Waugh backs Clarke

Australian great Steve Waugh is backing Michael Clarke to make a name for himself as a future Test captain despite his current high-profile off-field troubles, reports said Thursday.

Poura Gold Cup cricket

Bandhu Ekadash defeated Provat Sangha by seven wickets in the Poura Gold Cup Cricket Tournament at the Shahid Miraj-Tapan Stadium in Manikganj yesterday.

Bolt, Williams win Laureus

Usain Bolt and Serena Williams won the 2010 Laureus sportsman and sportswoman awards on Wednesday at a ceremony in the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi.

MU humiliate Milan

Wayne Rooney reached 30 goals for the season as Manchester United marched into the last eight of the Champions League with a clinical 4-0 demolition of AC Milan here on Wednesday.

Real revolution rocked

Florentino Perez did not spend 240 million pounds for this. The second galacticos era has opened as the first closed with failure. This season was always going to be defined by the European Cup, the tournament Real Madrid consider their own.

Jelen sinks Bordeaux

Ireneusz Jelen's second-half brace earned Auxerre a 2-1 victory at Bordeaux on Wednesday to frustrate the defending champions' bid to pull clear at the top of the Ligue 1 table.

Sol has WC dreams

Veteran Arsenal defender Sol Campbell believes he could yet make a dramatic return to England duty in this year's World Cup finals in South Africa.

Rooney can break C'Ron goal tally

Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney can shatter former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo's 42-goal total, according to two of his Old Trafford colleagues.

Nugent saves a point

A second-half header from David Nugent enabled Burnley to stop the rot Wednesday in giving his side their first point in five matches.

Crouch named funniest man

England footballer Peter Crouch was named the funniest man in British sport, topping a poll out on Thursday of the best one-liners and comedy football moments of all time.

Ballack to extend with Chelsea

Germany captain Michael Ballack is set to sign a one-year contract extension which will keep him at Premier League side Chelsea until 2011, German daily Bild claimed Thursday.

Business

Cement makers up for expansion

The expansion of the cement industry is underway, thanks to the government's move to materialise its huge plan of building big infrastructure projects such as Padma Bridge, elevated expressway and other road projects.

Ministry seeks fund for tourism campaign

The civil aviation and tourism ministry has demanded an allocation of Tk 1,000 crore in the national budget for 2010-11 to develop infrastructure for the tourism industry.

Jul-Jan exports drop

Overall exports in the July-January period of this fiscal year have experienced a fall, although the January figure shows a 3.49 percent rise.

BGMEA to issue country of origin certificates

The government has empowered BGMEA to issue country of origin (COO) certificates to apparel exporters from next week to help them reduce their time for shipment, Commerce Minister Faruk Khan said yesterday.

India's SpiceJet to connect Dhaka

India's budget airline SpiceJet will launch international operations in June with flights to Dhaka, Kathmandu and Colombo.

Obama renews call on China over yuan

US President Barack Obama Thursday called on China to embrace a "market oriented" exchange rate for its yuan currency, saying such a move would help rebalance the global economy.

Hasina stresses stability for economic progress

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the need for political stability and continuation of government policy for economic development.

Stocks back in the red

Just after a one-day break, Dhaka stocks again entered into the red zone yesterday, as the prices of fuel company shares declined on a depressing dividend declaration by Jamuna Oil.

Two pull back from DSE polls race

Eight candidates will finally contest for four directors' posts of Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), as two contenders yesterday pulled back from the prime bourse polls, due on March 21.

Investment on rise: Muhith

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday he would place a progress report of the first two quarters of the budget for the current fiscal year at the Jatiya Sangsad on Tuesday, highlighting major achievements and challenges.

Dollar steadies

The safe-haven dollar steadied against rival currencies on Thursday after Chinese economic data raised fears of soaring inflation, dealers said.

Disorder behind glitzy facade

The policy of liberalisation in the telecom sector initiated by the previous Awami League government more than a decade back permitting competitive carriers to operate parallel to the state-owned operator (BTTB, currently BTCL) has resulted in an impressive growth in teledensity, and the subscriber count now is close to 54 million. However, this growth has been totally confined to the mobile sector led by five foreign operators owning 51 million subscribers out of a total of 52 million. The remaining one million subscribers belong to the state-owned mobile operator, Teletalk. The PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) sector with a current subscriber base of 1.6 million is still dominated by BTCL owning 1 million and the remaining 0.6 million by the private PSTN operators. The private PSTN operators owned and operated by the local entrepreneurs are plagued by a multiplicity of problems and have not been able to take off as yet. The same is true for the local internet service providers (ISPs). Only with the recent involvement of the mobile operators, the data subscriber count has risen to about 4 million.

Mexican Carlos Slim now the world's richest

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim has dethroned Microsoft founder Bill Gates as the world wealthiest person and China is fast catching up with the number of US billionaires on the annual Forbes rich list.

CORPORATE BRIEFS

BOC BANGLADESH
The company's board of directors has recommended final dividend at 77 percent (Tk 7.70 per share of Tk 10) for December 31, 2009. The date of annual general meeting is May 13 while the record date is April 1. AGM's time and venue will be notified later. The company has also reported NAV of Tk 1,838.53 million, EPS of Tk 40.08 and net operating cash flow per share of Tk 68.41 for December 31 last year.

Oil steadies

Oil prices held steady on Thursday as investors paused for breath following recent gains made after data that showed stronger US energy demand, analysts said.

IATA halves airlines 2010 loss forecast on Asia recovery

Airline industry group IATA on Thursday halved its 2010 loss forecast for airlines to 2.8 billion dollars as a recovery led by Asia and Latin America proves stronger than expected.

Google prepared to quit China over censor feud: Executive

A top Google executive told US lawmakers Wednesday that the Internet giant is prepared to leave China if Beijing says it must censor Web searches or quit the world's most populous online market.

BMW posts poor 2009 results, says outlook brighter for 2010

German luxury car maker BMW on Thursday reported a 36.4 percent drop in 2009 net profit but also issued an upbeat 2010 forecast.

Philippines drops global crisis response measures

The Philippine central bank said Thursday it had kept interest rates unchanged but would phase out "crisis response" measures introduced during the global financial meltdown.

Metropolitan

Govt to set up computer labs at 1,400 edn institutions

The government is working to set up modern computer lab with internet connections at around 1,400 educational institutions as part of building a digital Bangladesh.

Kidney dialysis service to be extended to district level: Minister

Health Minister Dr AFM Ruhal Haque yesterday said kidney dialysis service would be extended to all the district Sadar hospitals gradually to provide treatment for kidney patients at low cost.

Campaign for war crimes trial kicks off tomorrow

Sammilita Sangskritik Jote, a platform for cultural organisations, will start countrywide cultural movement tomorrow to make people united in the demand for trial of war criminals.

Milon asked to surrender before trial court

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed former BNP state minister for education ANM Ehsanul Haq Milon to surrender before the trial court in Chandpur within eight weeks in connection with a mobile phone snatching case.

Hearing on charge framing on Apr 11

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed April 11 for hearing on charge framing against detained former state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar in a tax evasion case.

Court asks Bashundhara to submit statement by April 22

A Dhaka court yesterday asked Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan and other defendants in a Tk 200 crore defamation case to submit a statement by April 22.

Foundation of 22-storey CCC office building laid

The foundation stone of the new 22-storey administrative building of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) was laid yesterday.

Shibir men give info 'spontaneously'

Islami Chhatra Shibir men, who have been detained on charge of killing a Rajshahi University student, are delivering statements "spontaneously" about the involvement of Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, State Minister for Home Affairs Shamsul Haq Tuku said yesterday.

HC asks govt to allow Faisal Morshed to go abroad

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to allow Faisal Morshed Khan, son of former BNP foreign minister M Morshed Khan, to go abroad for his business purpose.

Army chief to visit India from Sunday

Chief of Army Staff Gen Md Abdul Mubeen will leave Dhaka for India on Sunday on a five-day goodwill visit at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Gen Dipok Kapoor.

PM seeks Qatari investment in energy sector

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested the government and entrepreneurs of Qatar to recruit more manpower from Bangladesh and make investments in potential sectors of the country in a bigger way.

English skills to open new avenues in outsourcing

English in Action (EIA), a joint venture of the Bangladesh and the UK governments to help develop better English communicative skills, was launched at a city hotel yesterday.

'Ensure transparency in project work'

Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque yesterday asked the project implementation officers to ensure transparency in their activities, saying that they can help boost the rural economy by properly executing the development and social safety net programmes.

'Do not turn private universities into commercial centres'

President Zillur Rahman yesterday asked the authorities of the private universities to ensure quality of education instead of running them as 'commercial institutions'.

Siddika Kabir gets Sheltech award

Prof Siddika Kabir, noted culinary artist and nutrition expert, was honoured with Sheltech Award 2009 yesterday, says a press release.

Koko asked to appear before court May 13

A Dhaka court yesterday asked Arafat Rahman Koko, younger son of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, to appear before it on May 13 in connection with a money laundering case.

Cultural relations with India to strengthen further: Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said cultural relations between Bangladesh and India would strengthen further, as the two countries are bound by long and traditional cultural ties.

Hearing on Khaleda's petition Mar 15

The High Court (HC) yesterday deferred until March 15 the hearing on a writ petition filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging the legality of a government notice asking her to leave the Cantonment house.

Woman found dead in city slum

Police yesterday recovered the body of an unidentified woman from a slum at Nobin Bagh in the city's Meradia area.

Cop killed in road accident

An Ansar member was killed when an oil-laden lorry hit him in front of the Shahjalal International Airport in the city yesterday afternoon.

BOU HSC exams begin today

The first and second year Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) final examinations 2009 under Bangladesh Open University (BOU) will begin today.

National

Once fertile crop land now looks like water body

Around 500 acres of fertile agricultural lands of 15 villages around Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BCMCL) could not be brought under Irri-boro farming this season due to prolonged water logging.

Farmers besiege power station in Pabna

Several hundred farmers besieged the sub-station of Rural Electrification Board-1 (Reb-1) at Handial Union under Chatmohar upazila on Wednesday night as erratic power supply damaged scores of shallow pumps used for irrigating agricultural land in the area in the last three days.

Thakurgaon Jubo League leader expelled from party

Thakurgaon Jubo League General Secretary Abdul Majid alias Apel was temporarily expelled from the party on Wednesday on charge of occupying the house of Sadar Upazila Chairman Sultanul Ferdous on March 5.

Knife, more iron rods, jihadi books seized

Authorities of Shaheed Shamsuzzoha Hall of Rajshahi University (RU) along with law enforcers yesterday recovered a 28-inch long knife and scores of iron rods during a raid on Shibir-controlled rooms at the hall.

Khagrachhari mayor suspended again

Khagrachhari municipal mayor Mohammad Joynal Abedin was suspended for the second time yesterday on charges of misappropriation of government fund and criminal activities.

BNP leader's house looted in Noakhali

Robbers injured Kabirhat upazila BNP finance secretary Abdul Hannan and his father and looted valuables worth about Tk five lakh from their house at Lemua Munshi Bari in Narottampur union of Kabirhat upazila under Noakhali district.

'Punish killers of Jhenidah college girl'

Teachers and students of Birshreshtha Hamidur Rahman College joined by local people formed a human chain on Kaliganj-Jibon Nagar highway at Khalishpur Bazar in Moheshpur upazila yesterday demanding arrest and punishment of the killers of Nasima Khatun, a student of the college.

11 Indians held for intrusion

BDR arrested eleven people for intruding into Bangladesh from India through the porous border of Satkhira on Wednesday.

Hartal passes off in Rangamati

The lash day of two-day dawn-to-dusk hartal called by Samo Odhikar Andolan (SOA), a platform of Bangalee settlers and its student front Parbatya Bangali Chhattra Parisahd (PBCP) yesterday passed off peacefully at Barkal upazila of the district. Waterway communication of Barkal with Rangamati district headquarters remained suspended during the shutdown. All kinds of business establishments, except for restaurants and medicine shops at Barkal upazila headquarters also were closed. Activists of both the organisations brought out processions in Suvalong and Bhusionchhara Bazaar areas. SOA and PBCP earlier called the hartal in protest of killing one of their activists by unknown criminals.

Farmer beaten to death

A farmer of Birganj upazila has been beaten to death as he allegedly failed to pay the irrigation water bill. A case was filed with Birganj police station yesterday in this regard. Police said victim Dinesh Barman, 45, son of Meghnal Barman of village Ratinathpur bought water from neighbour Md Nuruzzaman for preparing seedbeds last month. Despite repeated request Dinesh did not pay the water bill. On Wednesday morning a gang led by Nuruzzaman beat up Dinesh. The villagers rescued and hospitalised Dinesh but he died at night.

Arms peddler arrested

Rab men arrested an alleged arms peddler and recovered two foreign made revolvers, four bullets and four magazines from his house at village Agardari in Sadar upazila yesterday. Arrestee Golam Mostafa, 45, is son of Mohor Ali of the village. Quoting locals police said Rab-1 men of Uttara in Dhaka in the guise of buyer contacted arms peddler Mostafa and wanted to buy the two firearms two months ago. Yesterday the Rab men came to Satkhira. As soon as Mostafa brought the firearms the law enforcers arrested him.

Letters

Lake recovery?

The front page photograph and Ali's article alongside, published on March 3, tells the tale of Gulshan Lake. Sad for many, but glad for many too!

A fantastic cricketer

The reason for my e-mail is the frustration I am feeling within myself on the state of Bangladesh cricket with the World Cup round the corner. I am fortunate enough to have seen international cricket in this part of the sub-continent grow from day one when INDIA visited PAKISTAN in 1954-55 and the tour opener was played in Chittagong. Ever since that day, I have lived all these years with cricket in this country and have known most of the players at the national level.

More baby-taxies needed

The city dwellers in Metropolitan Dhaka, especially the middle-income group, find it very difficult to move from one place to another. Private sedan is out of their reach for financial reason. Taxicab service is not easily available and is also very costly. When a family likes to join in a marriage ceremony, it needs a low cost vehicle to go to a community centre. When a patient has to be shifted to a hospital, an affordable baby taxi is needed. If a family wants to go shopping to celebrate a festival, a baby-taxi is required. To appear in a public exam hall, a student needs transport service of a baby-taxi. It is the reality in Dhaka metropolis that affordable transport is not easily available. The baby-taxis that are plying go to garage just in the evening. On the other hand, one cannot move to all desired destinations by available bus service in Dhaka Metropolis. It is very difficult for females to travel by bus owing to limited service, too many passengers and un-civilized behaviour of a section of male passengers. But it is unfortunate that in the past, the governments ignored the acute need of city dwellers. In the name of traffic jam, rickshaws are not allowed on many roads. Then how will the general people move?

Words are not enough

February 25 is an excruciating day.

Gaddafi's call

Libyan leader Gaddafi has called the Muslims to boycott Switzerland in connection with the recent Swiss vote against the building of minarets that are integral parts of the mosques used by Muslims for praying. This is a direct interference in the right of a community to observe its religious rituals by a country that probably believes in secularism. France has also forbidden veil or hijab, a mandatory dress for Muslim women. What other non-Muslim countries /nations are doing against Islamic faith is well known and being manifested in the form of “clash of civilisations”. But there is no Muslim country in the world that has put any such prohibition on the religious rituals of any other community living in that country or anywhere else.

To the PM…

We are watching foreboding black clouds gathering over the horizon, we are afraid that in no time the whole sky will be covered, it is an ominous sign for the country. We are passing days in a very perilous condition, peace has become an elusive word.

GM foods

This refers to my article entitled - “GM Foods” recently published in your daily. It is gathered from one of my former students and present junior colleagues Dr. Naheed Zeba, Associate Professor of Genetics & Plant Breeding, that her learned Professor in the USA and some members in the profession expressed their disagreement with my observation concerning the GM foods' negative effects on humans. According to some of them, my article lacks accuracy and detailed account.

In response...

Mr. Fakhruddin Ahmed's Feb 22 rant “Winter Olympics is not an Olympics”, is too outlandish to warrant a response, but I will give it a shot.

Coal supply mystery

We are going to import coal for our new electric generation station (press report). Why import coal when we have about two billion tons of usable untapped coal deposits in Bangladesh?

'Black Gold'

This refers to a news item under the caption 'Australian Company Back For Exploration Licence' published in a daily on Feb. 17, 2010.

Confrontation ahead?

We are so scared of what is in store for us in the very near future as the BNP from the very day it was trounced in the election of 2008, apart from making sweeping accusations and allegations against the AL-led Mohajote government, called for mid-term election as according to it, the AL led govt. was persecuting its activists, was failing to deliver and was not releasing the scions of Begum Zia. In a dispassionate observation, they are too harsh and born out of political vendetta, though the AL has in some sectors glaring failures to draw flake. But BNP leaders have been saying all these in their party office and at other forums without caring a damn for their moral obligation and commitment to the nation. The people, however, well understand their anguish of being out of power but they would not put their hubris aside to soul-search about their misdeeds or follies and frailties.

Gas supply

Nababganj and Dohar upazilas in Dhaka Sadar Dakkhin (South Dhaka) are only thirty and forty kilometres away from Dhaka, but the people there are left to cry for gas. Keraniganj upazila gets the supply through pipeline from Dhaka city. Even some districts of North Bengal have been brought under gas supply and the Jamuna Bridge has made it possible. It is not understood why such places near Dhaka do not get supply of gas. Will the authorities concerned look into the matter?

Trafficking

Women who have been trafficked are often vulnerable to being so again. Creating awareness, changing mindsets and removing stigmas towards survivors, is also crucial in preventing the vicious cycle from continuing. While it is sometimes argued that trafficked persons have a better life than their lives of Poverty back home, the fact that they are cheated into this life not knowing what they are in for and then subjected to torture and slavery is what makes trafficking an inhuman crime that must be stopped.

Campus

When we first came to this campus as first year students, the tradition in our campus was to respect our seniors. We didn't want to know who was a political or non-political figure. As a result, our respect was for all seniors and we lived like the members of a family. But at present it is a common phenomenon that a student who comes to this campus looks for the shelter of a political big brother. The political elements also persuade them to get involved with politics for their own stability with the assurance of giving some benefits including accommodation facility in the dorm. Eventually, that innocent student gets involved in politics and respect only the political mentors, not other seniors.

Online Voices

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International

ME peace hopes in tatters

Prospects for indirect peace talks lay in tatters yesterday after the Palestinians said they would not negotiate with Israel unless it reversed plans to build 1,600 settler homes in east Jerusalem.

Nepal peace process at 'serious point'

Nepal's peace process is at a "very serious point", the United Nations' top political official said yesterday, urging party leaders to act on pledges made at the end of the war.

Hunt on for Maoists in 2 Indian states

A major drive has been launched against Maoist guerrillas in five districts of West Bengal and Jharkhand, and Orissa will soon join the campaign, a senior officer said yesterday.

Fighting kills 43 Somalis in 2 days

Heavy fighting between Somali insurgents and pro-government troops has killed at least 43 people over two days, as African Union peacekeepers used tanks to help the beleaguered government beat back an insurgent attack, officials said yesterday.

Indian SC summons Modi for questioning

Chief Minister of BJP-ruled Gujarat state Narendra Modi has been summoned by the Indian Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to appear before it on March 21 in connection with the communal riots that rocked India in 2002.

Karzai welcomes Pak role in talks with Taliban

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said yesterday that Pakistan has an "important" role to play in peace talks with the Taliban, a possible attempt to squash speculation that his government was trying to sideline its neighbour.

Top Taliban commander Bahadur among 16 killed in US drone strike

At least 16 suspected Taliban insurgents, including top extremist commander, Hafiz Gul Bahadur, were reportedly killed in a couple of US drone attacks in North Waziristan.

Manmohan ready for all party meet on women's bill

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was ready to consult all parties for a consensus on the women's reservation bill before it is tabled in the Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said yesterday.

Myanmar annuls NLD's 1990 election win

Not only is Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi effectively barred from upcoming elections, but she will not be allowed to vote and her opposition party's landslide win at the last polls has been formally invalidated, according to new election laws published Thursday.

US lawmakers reject Afghan pullout

The House of Representatives on Wednesday roundly defeated a resolution demanding President Barack Obama withdraw all US forces from Afghanistan, in a key election-year test for his war strategy.

British boy abducted in Pakistan rescued

A British boy who was kidnapped in Pakistan has been rescued and two people have been arrested, media reports said yesterday.

Bomb kills four children in Afghanistan

Separate bomb attacks killed five Afghan civilians, including four children, and a Nato soldier in troubled parts of Afghanistan on Thursday, the military said.

Gulf states wary of both Iran's nukes and punitive sanctions

Gulf states are worried about Iran going nuclear, but equally fret about a dangerous confrontation that could arise from more sanctions and military threats against Tehran, analysts say.

Iran sentences professor to 6 years

An Iranian appeals court sentenced a university professor to six years in prison for suspected involvement in the country's post-election turmoil, local media reported yesterday.

Half of my letters brand me an idiot, says Obama

US President Barack Obama joked on Wednesday that half of the 40,000 letters that pour into the White House each day brand him an "idiot."

Arts & Entertainment

Madhupur Ethnic Mini Museum: A modest but notable endeavour

History, traditions and heritage of the indigenous communities of the Madhupur Garh region are seemingly under threat. Initiatives to preserve and uphold these traditions and cultural elements have been few and far between. However, a mini museum has been set up at the Telki area under Madhupur upazila in Tangail recently with an intention of safeguarding the history and traditions of the local indigenous groups.

A genre-bending passion for music

Manam Ahmed won the Best Music Director honours at the last (5th) Citycell-Channel i Music Awards for the album "Shwopno Jatra" (Manam Ahmed featuring Rauma, produced by RAGE Record).

A grand display at Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre

On the occasion of the inauguration of Indira Gandhi Cultural centre (IGCC) of India Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) in Gulshan, Dhaka, an art exhibition has been organised.

Humayun Ahmed’s “Leelabati” adapted for small screen

Humayun Ahmed's popular novel "Leelabati" has been adapted into a TV serial. Directed by Arun Chowdhury, a 52-episode serial has been made [with the same title]. The serial will be aired on ATN Bangla soon.

Tuktuki from “Sisimpur” goes to a kite festival

Today in "Sisimpur", Tuktuki will make a journey to a kite festival in Bokulpur. A letter arrives to Sumona about a kite flying competition. Tuktuki who is keen on adventures, wants to see the plethora of bright and exciting colours in the sky. However, in order to get there, she will need a guardian to accompany her and Bahadur opts to take that responsibility. That was stage one. In the next phase, Tuktuki gets ready for the big day. The preparation of making her kite and all the other necessities begin.

Bangladeshi jamdani and muslin impress Kolkata fashionistas

Bangladeshi fashion house Ahang held a fashion show featuring traditional jamdani and muslin sari with ornamental works in Kolkata recently, according to a press release.

Rabindra Mela in Faridpur

A three-day long Rabindra Mela (fair) begins today at Ambika Maidan in Faridpur town. Sachetan Nagorik Committee (a unit of Transparency International Bangladesh), Faridpur has arranged the programme.

Madonna, daughter to launch fashion line

Madonna and her 13-year-old budding fashionista daughter Lourdes are to launch a new line in teen clothing called "Material Girl" in the US this August.

OP-ED

A quiet violence

FOR my column title today, I am stealing the title of the classic account by Betsy Hartmann and James Boyce of the year they spent in a small Bangladeshi village in the early 1970s.

Mr. Speaker speaks, does anybody listen?

AN outraged Speaker of the Parliament spoke up last week, when he gave the country's lawmakers a piece of his mind. He used tough words to reprimand them. Then he warned that in future unbecoming conduct in the House wasn't going to be tolerated. The speaker has been right in his outburst and he has spoken the words on our lips. But can he do what he said? Can he go it alone?

Many happy returns of the day

Prof. Rehman Sobhan has been a dedicated public scholar for over 50 years since beginning his career as an economics lecturer at Dhaka University in 1957. Among numerous other distinctions and positions he has held, Prof. Sobhan, who retired from DU as professor of economics in 1977, served in Bangladesh's first Planning Commission, and was the founding chairman of the Centre for Policy Dialogue and chairman of Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies. He received the Bangladesh Shadhinota Purushkar in 2008.



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