The Daily Star

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Thursday, November 27, 2014


News of: Sunday, 14th of March, 2010

Front Page

Green light to cut 4,000 trees

A timber trader chopped down over 100 trees and destroyed two betel leaf enclosers at Kailin Punji near Nahar Tea Garden in Srimangal yesterday after the High Court gave the go-ahead to cut down 4,000 trees.

BSF digs 25 bunkers inside Bangladesh

Indian Border Security Force dug 25 bunkers following an overnight intrusion into Bangladesh territory through Padua-Protappur border in Gowainghat upazila of Sylhet and retreated yesterday afternoon after 19 hours.

Steps contradict anti-graft pledge

The recent cabinet committee proposals to reform the Anti-Corruption Commission are not consistent with the government's commitment to ensure sovereignty and effectiveness of the commission, Transparency International Bangladesh said expressing concern over the move.

Opportunities wasted

The marathon parliamentary 'debate' on the president's address that ended on Thursday was marked by a series of unfortunate events. Due to frequent use of unparliamentary and aggressive words, particularly indecent and vulgar ones, the 'debate' lost its desired character and turned into squabbles between the treasury bench and opposition lawmakers.

Clash again over admission 'quota'

Three activists of Chhatra League and Chhatra Moitree were detained yesterday morning during a clash with police on New Government Degree College campus over their demand for "quota" in the first year honours admission.

Al-Arafah's MD faces minister's wrath

State Minister for Water Resources Mahbubur Rahman yesterday allegedly threatened a managing director of a private bank with dire consequences unless he retains a bank official to be discharged today in line with an official notice.

Govt urged to challenge directive

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon yesterday demanded that the government appeal against the High Court directive permitting tea garden owners to cut 3,550 trees in Kailin and Aslam Punji near Nahar Tea Garden in Srimangal.

Bhutan set for Saarc summit

Foreign Secretary of Bhutan Daw Penjo announced that Bhutan has completed its preparations for hosting the 16th Saarc Summit scheduled for April 28-29.

Five injured in clash over storing potato

At least five farmers were injured in a clash between potato cultivators and a group of traders over storing potatoes in Chasi Cold Storage at Mohendra Nagar village under sadar upazila of Lalmonirhat district yesterday.

20 hurt as BCL factions clash in Jessore

At least 20 leaders and workers of Bangladesh Chhatra League were injured in a clash between rival factions during the organisation's district council last night.

Dhaka banks on Beijing boost

Economic and financial assistance for infrastructure development, trade deficit and regional connectivity will dominate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's talks with her Chinese counterpart during her 5-day official visit beginning March 17.

Drug barons left out of police list

The latest list made by police includes only some 200 drug-peddlers from the capital's Tejgaon and Mohammadpur, but spares the kingpins behind the illicit narcotics business, according to sources.

Sahara asks to get godfathers

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday directed the law enforcement agencies to arrest the godfathers of drug peddlers as the government opted for a countrywide anti-drug crackdown following a reported pervasive spread of narcotic drugs.

Drive to cull 1 lakh fowls begins

District Livestock Department yesterday started a drive to cull over one lakh poultry birds and destroy two lakh of eggs at Yakubpur branch of Kazi Breeders Limited here to stop the the spread of bird flu virus.

Opposition chief whip claims of threat on life

Opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farroque filed a general diary Friday night with Gulshan Police Station in the capital after receiving threats over telephone.

Ashraf asks Khaleda to prove Joy allegations

Awami League General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam has demanded that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia discloses evidence of the allegations brought against the son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina within a week.

KG Mustafa passes away

Veteran journalist, Language Movement hero and diplomat KG Mustafa passed away at a hospital in the capital yesterday.

Tamim bats to save Tigers

Local boy Tamim Iqbal showed resistance in the face of a daunting task but it was not good enough for Bangladesh to be anywhere near safety on the second day of the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here yesterday.

Settlers to enforce blocade in hills Mar 18

Samo Odhikar Andolon and its student wing Parbatya Bangali Chhatra Parishad yesterday announced a road and waterway blockade programme in three hill districts for March 18 to protest “harassment” of their leaders.

One shot dead in city

Gunmen killed a person and injured another in the city's Sutrapur area last night.

Suicide blasts kill at least 30 in Afghan city

A suicide squad detonated bombs at a newly fortified prison, police headquarters and two other locations late yesterday, killing at least 30 people in the largest city of the southern Taliban heartland.

Editorial

Garment sector's Achilles heel

AFTER each episode of violence and vandalism wreaked by garment workers in the Ashulia factory belt, one would have expected a bit of wizening to avert another round of indulgence in self-destruction. But this was not to be -- after a spell of uneasy lull induced through adhocism, back again on a suicidal track!

Suicide attacks in Pakistan

THE increasing frequency with which terrorists are targeting Pakistan's security and defence establishment demonstrates the ever-escalating levels of danger posed to the country. This past week alone there have been two suicide attacks, the second one taking Lahore in its vicious grip on Friday. This latest attack has left no fewer than 45 people dead and scores of others severely injured. The worry is that this new attack was targeted at the army, which included the cantonment, homes of military officials and institutions such as hospitals and schools run by the army. The bigger worry is that where the aim earlier was to spread fear among soldiers, it now appears that these suicide bombers have widened the net to include anyone and everyone related to the military. Of the greatest significance is the fact that the terrorists are these days finding it rather easy to penetrate the perimeters of the security establishment in the country. They have killed policemen, soldiers and others before and now they feel they can keep doing it with ease.

Sports

All too familiar collapse

After the first day's play it was inevitable for Bangladesh that they would be put under a pile of runs on the second day of the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium. And England had no problems executing their plan on the placid track as they declared the innings on a mammoth 599 for six just forty-five minutes ahead of the tea break leaving a challenge for the Bangladesh batsmen to survive after a hard day's work under scorching heat.

'My job is to get runs'

England all-rounder Paul Collingwood joined the party by saying that he too was surprised by Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan's decision to put them into bat in the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium.

24-year wait ends

Power-packed Australia proved third time lucky as they won the men's field hockey World Cup after a 24-year hiatus with a 2-1 win over defending champions Germany on Saturday.

Mumbai survive Yusuf scare

The second-fastest T20 hundred, a 37-ball assault from Yusuf Pathan, as delicate as it was brutal, wasn't enough on a day in which precious little was contributed by the other Rajasthan Royals players. Despite Mumbai Indians piling on their biggest score in the IPL, it required special death bowling from Zaheer Khan and Lasith Malinga to deny Rajasthan 19 runs in the last two overs.

Rokibul could change mind

Just three days after announcing his retirement, there's some speculation that Rokibul Hasan may have a change of heart pretty soon.

CHITS FROM CHITTAGONG

It was a real treat for the Chittagong fans when the two local heroes batted together on the second day of the first Test against England here yesterday, but it lasted only 29 balls.

LOCAL SNIPPETS

Kasba High School of Rajshahi stormed into the final of the Ecstasy Sixth National Hockey Championship with an emphatic 5-0 win over Jessore Municipal Preparatory High School in the second semifinal at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Gambhir inspires Delhi

In his first match as IPL captain, Gautam Gambhir followed up inspired moves in the field with an old-fashioned innings full of sensible strokeplay to save a glittering batting line-up the blushes in a straightforward chase of 143 on a flat pitch. It was thanks to disconcerting bowling from Dirk Nannes and timely big wickets for Farveez Maharoof that Delhi were chasing a paltry total, but Gambhir had to counter the regularly falling wickets and rising required rate to take his team home.

Windies clinch series

West Indies defeated Zimbabwe by four wickets on Friday to wrap-up the one-day series after the visiting side suffered another batting meltdown.

NZ claim some pride

Tim Southee and Shane Bond ensured New Zealand's series finished on a high but with the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy already conceded, it was only a consolation victory for the hosts over Australia. The 51-run triumph might at least give New Zealand some spark heading in to the Test series, which begins up the road at the Basin Reserve on Friday, and it left the ODI scoreline at 3-2.

Justine, Li toppled

Justine Henin's comeback hit its first speed bump Friday as Gisela Dulko ousted the former world number one from the second round of the Indian Wells hardcourt tennis tournament.

Clarke yet to finalise NZ plans

Cricket Australia is waiting for confirmation of Michael Clarke's travel plans to New Zealand for the two-Test series, but he remains on track to join the team ahead of Friday's opening game in Wellington. Clarke, the vice-captain, has announced his separation from fiancee Lara Bingle after leaving the one-day tour to sort out his personal issues.

Catania stun Inter

Serie A leaders Inter Milan suffered just their third loss of the season as they fell 3-1 at Catania on Friday, in a defeat that throws the Italian title chase wide open.

Vidic-Rio partnership key

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic believes there is still more to come from his partnership with Rio Ferdinand as the pair gear up for the closing stage of the Premier League title race.

Shots fired at WC buses

Shots were fired at Joha-nnesburg's new public buses in-troduced for the World Cup on Friday but passengers escaped unharmed, police said on Saturday.

Kuranyi leads Schalke to top

Former German international striker Kevin Kuranyi grabbed a 55th-minute winner to fire Schalke 04 back to the top of the Bundesliga on Friday in a 2-1 win over Stuttgart.

Vettel grabs Bahrain pole

German Sebastian Vettel upstaged returning Formula One legend Michael Schumacher and the other three world champions on show when he grabbed pole here Saturday for Sunday's season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

Pompey chief Storrie quits

Portsmouth chief executive Peter Storrie has decided to leave his job at the financially-crippled Premier League club.

Hull boss Brown says sorry

Hull manager Phil Brown has apologised after Tigers midfielder Jimmy Bullard and team-mate Nick Barmby were involved in a bust-up in a public park.

Business

Travel tax collections dip

Travel tax collections by the National Board of Revenue (NBR) have slipped into negative growth as the country's labour migration to Middle Eastern countries declined.

Buyers' price pressure hits RMG profitability

The profitability of Bangladesh's readymade garments (RMG) is now hit hard by the persistent pressure from international buyers to lower the item's price, say industry insiders.

Yunus, Abed make joint call for better life

Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus and Sir Fazle Hasan Abed yesterday made a clarion call from the same dais for the present and future generations to come forward to work for a better life of people.

Petrol pump owners enforce six-hour strike today

Bangladesh Petrol Pump and Tank Lorry Owners and Labour Oikya Parisad, a platform of petrol pumps and tank lorry owners, has called a six-hour strike for today to press home their demands. All petrol pumps across the country will remain closed from 6am to 12 noon.

Conference on microcredit begins tomorrow

A three-day international conference -- "Microfinance Regulations: Who Benefits?" -- starts tomorrow at Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka.

Flat prices in plush areas skyrocketing

Apartment prices in the city's plush areas have increased six to eight times in the last 15 years, driven by high demand that pushed up land prices exorbitantly in those areas.

Organic farming campaign launched

The Bangladesh chapter of the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) has started its journey to promote organic farming. It will provide technical support, share knowledge and arrange programmes on environmental protection and biodiversity conservation.

Housing fair begins in Dhaka Thursday

A three-day housing fair will begin at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel on Thursday.

Bumper jackfruit output in northern region likely

Production of jackfruit, officially recognised national fruit of Bangladesh, is expected to be bumper this year in northern Bangladesh because of the prevailing favourable climate in the region.

Ashulia RMG factories reopen

The garment factories in Ashulia, around 50, which remained closed on Friday following a series of clashes between police and garment workers, resumed production yesterday amid deployment of police.

India invests $10b in IMF notes

India's central bank announced Friday it had agreed to buy 10 billion dollars of bonds issued by the International Monetary Fund as part of efforts to strengthen the Washington-based lender.

Asia stocks mixed

Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's call Friday for a weaker yen boosted sentiment but fears of credit tightening in China lingered in a mixed day for Asian stocks.

Oil prices climb towards $83

World oil prices rose toward 83 dollars a barrel on Friday as the International Energy Agency reported strong growth in world energy demand, led by China.

Weekly Currency Roundup
March 7-March 11, 2010

International Markets
The euro steadied against the dollar and yen in quiet trade on Thursday, recovering from earlier falls after strong Chinese data fuelled expectations of possible further monetary tightening by Beijing. Chinese inflation rose to a 16-month high and other economic data showed broad-based strength, boosting safe-haven flows into the yen and dollar against the euro and perceived riskier assets. The yen's rally later fizzled out; however, as the market took the view that the economic recovery in China remained broadly on track to drive global growth. The euro was steady against the Swiss franc at 1.4608 francs after earlier falling to a one-month low around 1.4597 as markets awaited a Swiss National Bank policy decision. The SNB is expected to keep interest rates very low and maintain its policy of foreign exchange intervention to curb any excessive appreciation in the Swiss currency and aid Switzerland's nascent economic recovery. Analysts said many in the market expect the SNB to tone down its rhetoric on intervention, but traders were also wary that the central bank may be ready to step in if the franc appreciates too much as a result. This kept the euro steady against the franc, with traders reporting good demand for euro/Swiss options ahead of the SNB's policy assessment. The Australian dollar rose 0.1 percent against the US dollar, cutting earlier losses made after the strong Chinese data and on data showing a smaller-than-expected rise in Australian employment. The New Zealand dollar fell 0.2 percent against the US dollar after the Central Bank said there was no urgency to lift interest rates.

Metropolitan

Help govt step up regional cooperation

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday called on the opposition parties to help the government strengthen cooperation with the regional countries, particularly with India, for the greater interests of the country.

Int'l standards to be ensured in war crimes trial: Faruk

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday said the government will start the process of trying war criminals soon and it will be conducted in line with international standards.

BNP threatens 'oust govt' movement

The leaders of BNP and its student body Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) yesterday threatened to oust the government by launching tough movements if "torture" on the opposition leaders and activists continued.

US supports Bangladesh's counterterrorism approach

United States (US) has supported strongly Bangladesh's regional counterterrorism approach and assured necessary assistance for making this effort more effective in the coming days.

Ershad proposes provincial govt to decentralise power

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yesterday proposed that provincial government system be introduced dividing the country into eight provinces to reduce pressure on Dhaka, decentralisation of power and balanced development across the country.

4 expelled from BCL

Four leaders of Bangladesh Chhatra League unit of Eden Girls' College in the capital were expelled from the organisation yesterday in connection with a conflict between two groups of the unit.

Elderly man killed in road accident

An elderly man was killed in a road accident on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway at Jamtala in the district yesterday.

Domestic help dopes 3, loots cash

A female domestic help doped all the three members of a family and made off with Tk 20000 in cash and two cellphone sets from a residence in the city's Segunbagicha area yesterday.

Tremor jolts country

A moderate tremor jolted the capital city and different parts of the country early yesterday with no reports of casualties or damage.

Vow to make edn institutions free from violence

Bangladesh Chhatra Union (BCU) and different left-leaning student organisations observed 'Raju Day Against Violence' on the Dhaka University campus yesterday with a vow to make the campuses violence-free.

RCC moves to sell bottled water

Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) has initiated a programme of selling bottled water by using all of its four idle water treatment plants even though the city's one-third population, mostly poor, is out of the corporation's water supply network.

Call to stamp out fundamentalism

Members of Sampradayikata - Jangibad Birodhi Mancha, a platform against communalism, yesterday urged countrymen to uproot fundamentalism and Islamist militancy from the country.

3 stabbed, 3 others bullet-hit

A gang of armed robbers injured six people and looted valuables worth about Tk 15 lakh during a robbery at a house at Sitakunda in Chittagong early yesterday.

More diarrhoea patients rush to city hospital

Diarrhoea situation in the city remained unchanged as some 350 patients with diarrhoeal diseases rushed to the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease and Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) at Mahakhali yesterday to seek treatment.

Rab men destroy 96,217 Phensidyl bottles, 875kg cannabis

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel destroyed 96,217 bottles and 58.5 litres of Phensidyl and gutted 875 kilograms of cannabis at Rab-1 headquarters in the city's Uttara area yesterday.

Two killed in road crash

Two people were killed and five others injured in a road accident at Sonapahar in Mirsarai yesterday.

Training on primary eye care held

With a view to raising awareness to eradicate avoidable blindness and prevent common eye diseases, Dhaka Urban Comprehensive Eye Care Project (DUCECP) and Star Campus, a weekly supplement of The Daily Star, jointly organised a training session on primary eye care at a city conference centre yesterday.

Double shifts in some govt schools in Rajshahi from next year

Mayor of Rajshahi AHM Khairuzzaman Liton has said steps have been taken to launch double shifts in the city's quality government high schools in the coming year to ease admission crisis.

Marine academy to be set up at N'ganj

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday said a marine academy would be set up in Narayanganj to impart training to sailors and crews.

Biotech helps raise agri output by 40pc over 12 yrs

Agricultural production over the last 12 years from 1996 to 2008 increased by 40 percent globally through the use of biotechnology in the economy's largest sector, experts said at a seminar yesterday.

Consumer Rights Day on Monday

The World Consumer Rights Day will be observed in the country as elsewhere across the globe on Monday with a view to promoting basic rights of all consumers.

'Govt to take action against those violating constitution'

State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam yesterday said the government will take action against those who are violating the constitution by claiming that Ziaur Rahman is the proclaimer of independence.

Mahmudur assaulted in London

Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of the Amar Desh, was reportedly assaulted by a group of people in London on Friday.

Fire at Karwan Bazar

A fire broke out in garbage left in the space between CA Bhaban and Dhaka Trade Centre building at Karwan Bazar in the city yesterday, causing huge black smoke.

National

Rivers narrowing as grabbers active

Laukathi and Lohalia rivers in the district are narrowing at different points as grabbers are building concrete structures on the foreshore.

Wheat output in north likely to exceed target

Farmers and agronomists are expecting a bumper production of wheat in the northern region this season as the plants have grown well due to favourable weather condition.

Dealers of 7 dists finally taking ZFCL fertiliser

The fertiliser dealers, who had earlier refused to take delivery of the agri input from Zia Fertiliser Company Limited (ZFCL) at Ashuganj in Brahmanbaria, have started receiving fertiliser allotted against each of them following a fruitful talks with the authorities concerned.

'Katka tragedy day' observed at KU

Teachers and students of Khulna University (KU) observed 'Katka Tragedy Day' yesterday.

Another betel leaf garden 'torched' in Jhenidah

Another 'mysterious' fire yesterday destroyed betel leaves worth Tk 5 cr on 100 bighas at a garden at Khorda Roygram village under Kaliganj upazila in Jhenidah.

'Kidnapped' 7 years ago arrested from hospital

A man allegedly kidnapped seven years ago, was arrested from the Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital Friday afternoon.

Death of schoolboy in road accident sparks protest

An angry mob set fire to a private car and damaged at least 30 other vehicles on Dhaka-Rajshahi road at Puthia upazila headquarters following death of a schoolboy in a road accident there yesterday.

Shrimp research instt set up in Bagerhat

A shrimp research institute has been set up in the district involving Tk 22.68 crore with a view to maintaining standard of the exportable in the foreign markets and raise its production using modern technologies.

Solar power changes lifestyle of char people in Noakhali

Solar power connections have changed the lifestyle of the char people in three upazilas of Noakhali district.

Sacked Milk Vita staff call off hunger strike

Agitating workers and employees of Milk Vita Company at Baghabari in Shahzadpur of Sirajganj district called off their hunger strike yesterday evening after being assured by local MP Chayon Islam of looking into their demands.

Housewife beaten to death

Housewife Rafeja Khatun,25, was beaten to death allegedly by her husband for dowry at Jhutitola Maskhola village in Sadar upazila yesterday. Husband Ruhul Amin fled the scene after the incident. According to the victim's family members, Ruhul Amin married Rafeja three years ago being assured of getting Tk 50,000 as dowry. But Rafeja's family failed to pay the dowry. Because of it Ruhul Amin often tortured Rafeja. On the fateful day, Ruhul Amin beat her mercilessly. She got severe head injuries and died on the way to Sadar Hospital in the afternoon.

Grocer stabbed to death

A grocer was found dead beside his shop at Bijrul Mia Para village in Nandigram upazila yesterday. The victim was identified as Abdul Jalil, 45, son of Afsar Ali of the village. Police said some unidentified assailants attacked Jalil while he was coming to his shop after having dinner at his house on Friday night. The gang stabbed Jalil indiscriminately killing him on the spot. Locals found his body beside the shop yesterday morning and informed local police.

Two girls drown in Khulna

Two girls drowned in a pond at Noakata village in Paikgachha upazila on Wednesday. The deceased were identified as Rikta, 6, daughter of Korban Sarder of Noakata village and Tahera, 7, daughter of Abbas of nearby Godaipur village. Tahera came to visit her maternal uncle Korban's house recently. Family sources said Rikta and Tahera drowned in an adjacent pond while taking bath at about 1:00 pm. They did not know how to swim.

15 houses gutted

At least 15 houses were gutted in a fire at Bakshabari village in Manda upazila on Thursday. Witnesses said the fire originated from a stove at the kitchen of Mozahar Hossain and soon engulfed the adjacent houses. Local people tamed the blaze after two hours of frantic efforts. The affected house owners claimed that cash and other valuables worth over Tk 10 lakh were gutted in the blaze.

Teenage girl raped

A Dakhil examinee was allegedly gang raped at Auvirampur village under Atghoria police station in the early hours of Thursday. Police arrested two boys of the village in connection with the rape. The victim was admitted to Pabna General Hospital in critical condition on Thursday afternoon. Sources said the 16-year-old victim girl was staying at his aunt's residence for the purpose of examination. The culprits entered the house and raped her as nobody was in the house. Police later arrested two in connection with the incident. They are Md Khorshed Alam,17, and Masud Rana,18, of the same village.

Youth's body recovered

Police recovered the body of an unidentified young man from a water-body in Pathorghata upazila on Friday. On information, police recovered the body of the young man aged about 25 from Nij Lathimara beel in the morning. Police said miscreants might have strangled the man after torture and later dumped the body into the beel. The body also bore several injury marks in the throat and face.

Letters

Madrasa education

It is a piece of good news that the government has taken the initiative to modernise the madrasa education system. The purpose is to produce Islamic scholars imbued with the knowledge of science and technology. In the Holy Quran, there are at least 800 verses which are directly related to science and technology revealing the basic tenets of Cosmology, Astronomy, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Genetics, Geology and Marine Science. The glorious past of Muslim rule claims that there were 17 universities in Muslim Spain whereas Europe was far behind in establishing such qualified institutions at that time. This proves how advanced the Muslims were in spreading education and civilization. So, the present degradation and distress of the Muslim world is due to their isolation from the scientific and technological research of the Holy Quran.

Grading system

In our country we see different types of education system. But at the university level we see the pretty much same education system. But there is another problem at the university level. Usually, the better students get admitted in the public universities. But public university students are not getting the proper logistical support and proper environment for study which should be a matter of concern for the government right now. And it is going to be worse day by day. When the students complete their graduation and post graduation from universities, they face the grade problem. The school and college students who have completed their school level recently are getting much higher marks than their seniors got in the past.

Save our tigers

At least seven Royal Bengal Tigers were killed in the adjoining areas of the Sundarbans in the last 11 years when the wild animal entered localities in search of food. Villagers beat six tigers to death and shot dead another during the period.

Terrestrial service

In 1996, during the rule of the Awami League, Chittagong TV centre started their terrestrial broadcasting with their daily programmes all over the country, so we could watch it from every corner of the country. But while the BNP came to power, they stopped it. And the “closing practice” is still there. The present government, committed to making a digital Bangladesh, is expected to take steps so that Chittagong TV Centre can re-launch their national terrestrial broadcasting with more extended time, wider and colourful arrangement.

Student politics

The British East India Company left the sub-continent in 1947. Their goal was to loot and plunder the resources of the country. From the activities of the politicians, it can very well be said that the Frankenstein of the British East India Company still lives on among them.

The prime minister

I am feeling so sorry for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Almighty Allah gave her the opportunity, by availing it she could have become a saint-like person, people would have looked upon her with awe and admiration. She would have been treated as an icon, people would have remembered her as an idol.

State honour

The practice of honouring the dead at the state level surprises me. Some four to five solders/policemen salute the coffin wearing shoes. They also play flute. It can not be an honour for a Muslim after his/her death. Some ayats of the Holy Quran should be recited after making ablution and Sura Fatiha must be recited. Otherwise, the state honour is pointless and the departed souls do not get any peace from it.

Medicare

As the expenses of medical care have mounted in a lot of countries, much concentration is focused on incompetence, the occurrence of unproven interventions and the strange practice variations from one geographic area to another.

PMO on solar power

Running the Prime Minister's Office on solar power has set a national example for the country to go for all measures in adopting alternative energy options. This should create the awareness on the urgent national need for mobilising alternative energy sources, given our fast receding natural gas reserves and the lack of other local energy resources. The Hon. PM should instruct the Ministry of Information so that this awareness is well projected in all our audio-visual and print media, both official and private, to generate public interest and awareness.

Honouring the heroes

Language Martyrs are our national pride, as there is only one nation in the world that has the history of sacrificing life for language. For honouring them on 21st February we come to Shaheed Minar barefooted. Foreigners also come without shoes, as they evaluate properly the heroes of the Language Movement.

Partisan government

The AL is hell-bent on sorting out pro-Jamaat officers for giving them forced retirement, or at least putting them on OSD status. Now our unabashedly partisan government has started to point finger to Jamaat-BNP for every trouble and humiliate, intimidate and torture them to smother their voice.

For God's sake... why?

This refers to your captioned commentary, published in the 18th February issue of The Daily Star. This write-up inspires me to write something more about the 'name-game' of the government.

A testing year

After browsing through the first Supplement of The Daily Star's 19th anniversary issue, I sighed with relief. The learned contributors have pointed out issues which are not broached by our politicians and by the MPs in national parliament. The well-off political leaders handle national issues through the party angles and give lower priority to mass issues which are not in party interest. This sham display of political rhetoric in depicting democracy continues even after four decades after the learning process started since 1972. This Supplement spotlighted views from the non-political society leaders.

For a peaceful planet

To my sheer ecstasy, I chanced to read some long-missing blissful words titled 'prayer for peace' written by Tapan Kumar Shil published in The Daily Star on January 23. With our beloved planet long-starved of peace, security and hope, being perpetually bedevilled with man-manufactured miseries, these words echo the yearnings of all peace-loving people. Inconsolably enough, our afflictions are not effected by the aliens. Thus the planet named 'Earth' will remain strife-stricken in perpetuity, eventually forcing hopeless 'Humanity' to sob away into evanescence? And undeniably, we owe a debt of gratitude to the poet for producing and to my beloved DS for disseminating those soothing words.

Sincerity is not enough

A government's performance in our times is dependent on the presence of an administrative system not hostage to politicisation or subject to excessive centralisation. In this context, the prime minister and her administration must move swiftly toward initiating and implementing administrative reforms. A mere expression of intent is not enough. Over the past three decades, a raft of recommendation has been made about reforming the bureaucracy. It is time to go back to them and update them and indeed, get things moving again. Only that will see a fulfilment of Promises.

Killing by BSF

Yet another Bangladeshi was killed on 4 March by the BSF (DS, 5 March,2010). I really fail to understand how we talk about a blooming friendship while they keep killing our countrymen almost every alternate day, if not daily.

Medical check up

Shame on our doctors and the medical system. Our doctors are not qualified enough even to perform a routine medical check up! Is this the reason that the President has to go to Singapore for a medical check up or is it because it does not cost him anything? Or is it our politician's utter disrespect for anything Bangladeshi? If the President thinks that our doctors and medical system is not good enough for him, why can't he do something to improve it? Perhaps what is good enough for millions of ordinary people is not good enough for him. What else can be expected from our politicians?

Trial of war criminals

In 1974 India signed the Simla pact with Pakistan because of which 90,000 PoWs with 195 war criminals went back to Pakistan.

Protecting people?

President Obama did not dramatically change at all the surveillance policies of his predecessor. This strategy has made it simpler for the US government to spy on every American and millions of others around the world, You would think that eight or nine years now after the 9/11 attacks, the government would have done a better job just getting management over the information it already had.

International

Suicide attack in northwest Pakistan kills 13 people

A suicide attacker set off a bomb at a security checkpoint in northwest Pakistan yesterday, killing at least 13 people and injuring 52, officials and a doctor said, underscoring the relentless security threat to this Islamic nation.

Thaksin supporters descend on Bangkok for today's big rally

Tens of thousands of supporters of deposed premier Thaksin Shinawatra streamed through military checkpoints into the capital yesterday as they headed to a rally aimed at toppling the government.

Putin seals Russian arms, energy deals with India

India and Russia inked a slew of major defence deals and upgraded their civil nuclear sector under which Russia will build up to 16 atomic reactors for power stations as Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wrapped up his daylong visit here on a high note on Friday.

Zardari still biggest threat to democracy: Sharif

Notwithstanding the reconciliatory policies of President Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has said he still considers the President as the biggest threat to democracy.

Pak SC asks NAB to 'stop playing hide and seek' over Zardari's immunity

Reprimanding the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) over its dilly-dallying attitude, the Pakistan Supreme Court has asked the bureau to "stop playing hide and seek" over the immunity status granted to President Asif Ali Zardari and seek the custody of the documents relating to the 60 million dollar money laundering case which the government had withdrawn from Swiss courts.

Obama convenes Afghan war cabinet

US General Stanley McChrystal briefed President Barack Obama and his war cabinet on Friday on "progress" in the first big offensive of the US Afghan surge strategy, the White House said.

Asia, Pacific nations vow to fight threats to civil aviation

Asia and Pacific nations vowed Saturday to fight emerging terror threats to commercial aircraft by boosting international security standards and measures, including screening technology.

Geelani calls for boycott of Kashmir local polls

Separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has called for a boycott of village and urban local body polls in Jammu and Kashmir due to be held next month.

Milky Way's fastest stars circle each other at 500km a second

Astronomers have confirmed that two extremely dense stars in an intimate dance are spinning around each other in just 5.4 minutes at about 500 kilometres a second, making them the fastest known stellar partners in the galaxy.

Karzai agrees to foreigners on election body

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has agreed to let two non-Afghans join the country's elections watchdog ahead of September polls, a spokesman said yesterday after pressure from Western backers.

Hillary rebukes Israel over new settlements

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has rebuked Israel for plans to build new settler homes, saying it sent a "deeply negative signal" about Israel's ties to its top ally.

Main Lankan Tamil party ready to accept self-rule

Sri Lanka's main ethnic Tamil party said yesterday it is ready to accept regional self-rule instead of total independence, which it had previously demanded.

Maliki marches ahead to keep his top Iraqi job

Iraqi premier Nuri al-Maliki's bid to retain his job gained steam yesterday, as early results crucially put him ahead in Baghdad, while rival blocs began jostling over the formation of a government.

World's birds shrinking due to global warming

A new study by scientists has shown that many birds in the world, particularly in North America, are shrinking, in response to warmer temperatures.

Qaeda suspect worked at 6 US nuke plants

An American seized in Yemen in a sweep of suspected al-Qaeda members had been a labourer at six US nuclear power plants, and authorities are investigating whether he had access to sensitive information or materials that would be useful to terrorists.

Jackson's luxury furniture up for auction in June

The luxury furniture Michael Jackson commissioned before his death will go under the hammer in June in Las Vegas along with other personal items from the King of Pop, Julien's Auctions announced Friday.

Nepal army refuses to induct Maoist fighters en masse

Nepal Army chief General Chhatraman Singh Gurung has refused to hire fighters from the opposition Maoist party's guerrilla army en masse on Friday.

Arts & Entertainment

Never too late to change

Rabindranath Tagore wrote “Valmiki Pratibha” when he was twenty. Though it's often labelled as an opera, the play is more of a musical (combining music and dance). It was first staged in 1881 and Tagore played the protagonist. The play narrates the metamorphosis of Ratnakar, a formidable bandit king to Valmiki, legendary poet-sage who wrote the Indian epic "Ramayan".

Gram Theatre celebrates Nasiruddin Yousuff’s Ekushey Padak

Bangladesh Gram Theatre arranged a colourful programme to celebrate its president Nasiruddin Yousuff's receiving Ekushey Padak this year. The programme was held at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy premises on March 12. Highlights of the programme were performances of indigenous art forms as well as theatre, classical music, dance, recitation and more.

‘Celebrating Life’ the musical way

Classical music has lost none of its appeal. This was proved in ample measure at a cultural event styled 'Celebrating Life' held at Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin auditorium of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) on March 10.

Rabindra Mela ends in Faridpur

Rabindranath belongs in our tradition. The new generation will not be enlightened by distancing itself from Rabindranath. Tagore's teachings will help us become enlightened human beings. Tagore exponent Dr. Sanjida Khatun said this at the inaugural ceremony of a three-day long Rabindra fair held at Ambika Maidan of the town in Faridpur on Friday afternoon.

LRB to perform in London

Popular band LRB is scheduled to perform at a cultural festival arranged by the Bangladeshi community living in London, says a press release. The festival will be held from March 19 to 21. Ayub Bachchu with Swapan, Masud and Romel [of LRB] will perform on March 21 at the festival. Renowned singers, actors, dancers and magicians from India will also take part in the festival.

Mystic Pagla Kanai’s 200th birth anniversary observed

On the occasion of the 200th birth anniversary of mystic bard Pagla Kanai, a three-day lokoj utshab (folk festival) and mela (fair) were held at the Pagla Kanai complex in Jhenidah. The programme was arranged by Pagla Kanai Smriti Shangrakkhan Shangshad of Berbari village, Jhenidah. The anniversary programme began from March 9.

School-campaign against eve teasing held

A school campaign was organised in Kurigram with a theme of eve teasing. A rally of about 200 students, teachers and NGO activists on Thursday paraded the thoroughfares of Kurigram town and concluded at the local central Shaheed Minar premises.

OP-ED

We need professional investment advisors

WHENEVER there is a bearish trend in the market, investors initiate processions or chant slogans. Our investors are not ready yet to accept a bearish or declining market. An investor should always be ready for any market situation, and should invest accordingly.

Land survey for conflict resolution in CHT?

IN the wake of the violent conflicts in Khagrachari and Baghaihat, Rezaul Karim, the minister for land, expressed his view that there was no alternative to land survey for resolving land disputes in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. In the same vein, after the first meeting held in August 2009, Khademul Islam Chowdhury, chairman of the CHT Land Commission on Settlement of Land Disputes, also underscored the importance of land survey as the first step to resolution of land disputes. He declared that land survey would start very soon.

Maoists stand at bay

TAMAR is a small advasi tribal village in the deep jungles of Chhattisgarh. Two farmers from the village are fighting a losing battle against a young Congress member of parliament. He has forcibly built a factory on their fields, spread over 10 acres. He belongs to an industrialist family from Haryana.

A world without nuclear weapons

NO American president has spoken out so eloquently and so forcefully, not only against the proliferation of nuclear weapons but also for their total abolition. At a summit of the United Nations Security Council, held in September 2009, President Obama said: "I called for this summit so that we may address at the highest level a fundamental threat to the security of all peoples and all nations -- the spread and use of nuclear weapons."

Tackling unemployment

PRIME Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the National Service Program (NSP) for giving work to the jobless youths in the rural areas where poverty and unemployment are rampant. Under this innovative program, 720,000 educated youths will be given three months training with monthly payment of Tk.6,000 each, and then will be absorbed in a suitable job for two years.

StarTech

Towards Digital Bangladesh

Digital technology brings people from any location within the shortest possible time -- to the benefits of information technology. So we should not only dream but also take initiative to achieve and sustain the dream to be a digitised nation. The universal role of information and communication technology (ICT) is vital for socio-economic development of a developing country like Bangladesh. Availability of information helps increase productivity, ensures fair and competitive market and empowers marginal people.

Japanese telecom company in Bangladesh

bracNet, a leading local internet service provider and KDDI Corporation, the second largest telecommunication company in Japan have announced the launch of bracNet-DEFTA-KDDI joint venture in Bangladesh.

Skype now available in Ovi Store

Skype and Nokia recently announced the release of Skype for Symbian, a Skype client for Nokia smartphones based on the Symbian platform.

New LG monitor and ASUS motherboard released

Global Brand Pvt. Ltd, the authorised distributor of LG monitor in Bangladesh launched W1643C model of LCD monitor in the local market.

Innovation on display at Games Conference

Motion controls and social gaming were the hot topics at this week's Game Developers Conference, the annual convention of game designers, programmers and executives.



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