The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, July 22, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 31st of March, 2010

Front Page

Darkness deepens

The ongoing electricity crisis took heavy toll on the patients as Dhaka Medical College Hospital experienced three hours of power cuts yesterday, causing halt to services and immense sufferings to patients.

MPs motor on 4,000cc

Lawmakers will soon be able to import duty-free vehicles of up to 4,000cc engine limit, but this time on some conditions designed to prevent abuse of the privilege.

Evidence collection begins

The investigation agency formed for trying war crimes yesterday visited the Liberation War Museum at the city's Segunbagicha and collected 10 books, booklets and two CDs on war crimes committed during Bangladesh's war of independence in 1971.

CEC to have more power

The chief election commissioner is going to have sole authority to control the procedure for Election Commission's making decisions regarding its functions.

Crime gangs grip city

Extortions and killings in the capital by crime syndicates have reached such a level that quarters of the society that used to be unquestionably safe are also no more immune to becoming victims.

Subscribers suffer as 5 operators still shut

More than 6.5 lakh customers of five private landline operators have remained offline till yesterday despite the Prime Minister's directive not to shut down their services.

Discuss with opposition before trial

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain has said the government should first discuss the trial of the alleged war criminals with the opposition before starting the trial process.

CAAB asked to explain Mir Kasem's departure

The civil aviation and tourism ministry yesterday sought explanation from the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB) on the departure of Mir Kasem Ali, a Jamaat-e-Islami leader, through the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

Ashraf warns against chaos in the name of agitation

The ruling Awami League has warned the BNP-led opposition that any chaos in the name of anti-government agitation will be contained with a heavy hand.

Poor performers' ADP allocation to be cut

The government is likely to curtail annual development programme allocation for under-performing ministries and the amount will be diverted to those ministries who showed better performance in implementing ADP.

Muhith suggests raising power, CNG prices

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday directed the authorities concerned to move for increasing the prices of CNG and electricity.

Century-old courtroom gets facelift

The 105-year-old High Court building, which witnessed many historic events, is suddenly going through phases of quick maintenance, as the landmark trial of alleged war criminals would put a huge load on the place.

Aila affected dam collapses again

At least 15 villages in Padmapukur, an Aila affected union under Shyamnagar upazila, were inundated again as water entered breaching a ring embankment at eight points on the river Kholpetua on Monday.

Curfew slapped after clashes in Hyderabad

Indian police yesterday imposed a curfew across a third of the southern city of Hyderabad, home to global IT giants Google and Microsoft, after days of inter-religious clashes.

Biman to get back its original logo

Biman Bangladesh Airlines Ltd will get back its original logo and livery.

Five Jamaat leaders asked to appear in court Apr 28

A Dhaka court yesterday asked the Jamaat-e-Islami ameer and secretary general and three others to appear before it on April 28 in connection with a case filed against them for hurting religious sentiment of Muslims.

Turkey pledges help in river dredging

The Turkish government is going to support Bangladesh in dredging its rivers and in implementing the much-expected Dhaka Medical College and Hospital Phase-II project inside the existing hospital premises.

15 BDR jawans appeal for retracting confession

Fifteen members of Bangladesh Rifles yesterday appealed to a Dhaka court for retracting their confessional statements made in connection with February 2009 BDR carnage at Pilkhana.

Tigers squad for T20 WC announced

Mohammad Ashraful and Mashrafe Bin Mortaza returned to the national fold for the World Twenty20 Championship to be held in West Indies from April 30.

Dutch court upholds UN immunity in Srebrenica case

Relatives of Bosnian Muslims killed in Europe's worst massacre since World War II lost another round yesterday in their attempt to sue the United Nations for responsibility.

12 municipal councillors land in jail

The Chief Judicial Magistrate Court of Dinajpur yesterday sent 14 officials of Dinajpur municipality including its acting mayor Md Altaf Hossain to jail rejecting their bail prayers in a Tk 62 lakh corruption case.

Bodies of 21 babies found in a China river

Bodies of 21 babies have been discovered in plastic bags in a river in eastern China and authorities suspect they were dumped there by local hospitals, state media reported yesterday.

Business tycoon gave shelter to killers

Detective Branch (DB) of police yesterday claimed of getting important information from Dakat Shahid's two accomplices who killed the Dhaka City Corporation ward councillor Ahmed Hossain, also a Jubo Dal leader.

Ashraf held for stabbing classmate, her parents

Detective police yesterday arrested Ashraf Ali, who stabbed his classmate Fauzia Faria Barsha and her parents, from his relative's house in Gazipur district.

11 AL men have to return money

Ishwardi upazila administration in Pabna ordered to cancel the names of 11 rich and ruling Awami League men who were included in the employment generation programme (EGP), a special safety net for the ultra poor.

Editorial

As the new CIC takes charge

Muhammad Zamir is poised to take over as chief information commissioner (CIC). We take this opportunity to offer our congratulations to him. We believe that a man of his background, with his dynamism and his grasp of the issues that matter, will be able to infuse energy and the sense of purpose that are so much needed for the Information Commission to become a vibrant body. The new CIC should make it his clear objective to have the provisions of the Right to Information Act translated into reality, for that will not only add to the quality of democratic politics but will also enhance the degree of the political consciousness of the people. We wish him the best in his new endeavour.

Homing in on diarrhoea

Polluted water is giving rise to a public health emergency that should make all concerned roll up their sleeves and act. Combined with drying out of water sources and poor sanitary conditions, contaminated water in extensive city areas is triggering an outbreak of diarrhoeal diseases of a rather dreadful proportion. Empirically, all previous data seem to have been surpassed with a monthly average of some 11,000 requiring and receiving treatment at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases and Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR'B), Mohakhali .

Sports

Mashrafe, Ashraful in

There was no surprise and experiment when the national cricket selectors announced a 15-member squad on Tuesday recalling Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Mohammad Ashraful for the ICC World Twenty20 in West Indies in April-May.

Usha demolish Wari

Last year's runners-up Sonali Bank and title contenders Usha Krira Chakra made winning starts to their Dhaka Bank Club Cup Hockey tournament campaigns at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Khoda Baksh no more

Khoda Baksh Mridha, one of the pioneering voices of Bangladesh sports, passed away yesterday at his home near Hatimkhan Muslim High School in Rajshahi. He was 65.

Malik destroys Tigers

Chittagong Mohammedan bounced back from their defeat in the first match in style by drubbing Chittagong Tigers by a massive 117 runs in their clash of the Port City Cricket League (PCL) at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday.

Ctg MSC shock Arambagh

Chittagong Mohammedan Sporting Club stunned hosts Arambagh KS 1-0 in their away fixture of the Bangladesh League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Kaiser the hero for Gaibandha

Kaiser claimed five wickets for 17 runs as Gaibandha posted an eight-wicket victory over Lalmonirhat in the 30th Inter District Cricket Championship in Rangpur yesterday.

Yousuf's exit lamented

Former cricketers on Tuesday lamented the retirement of Mohammad Yousuf, saying Pakistan will badly miss the ace batsman if he sticks to his decision.

Lee called in for World T20

Brett Lee will be back in Australian colours at the World Twenty20 after being chosen for the first time since undergoing elbow surgery last year. Lee, 33, retired from Tests to prolong his limited-overs career and his reputation has won him a spot alongside Shaun Tait, Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Johnson for the tournament starting in the Caribbean next month.

Maisha powers John Wilson

A brace from Maisha powered Sir John Wilson School to a 2-0 win over Green Herald International School on the opening day of the Citycell Dhaka Metropolis Schoolgirls' Football tournament at the Dhanmondi Women's Sports Complex yesterday.

Mumbai keep winning

It was a clash between table-toppers Mumbai Indians and bottom-of-the-pile Kings XI Punjab at the IPL T20 tournament last night. And it was the Mumbaikars who came out victorious by four wickets, albeit after a stiff contest.

The enigma of Pak cricket

Record-breaking batsman Mohammad Yousuf, who said Monday he was bowing out of international cricket, is one of Pakistan's most enigmatic players, a high-profile Muslim convert whose life story is one of rags to riches.

New Zealand struggle

Mitchell Johnson took out his frustration at a first Test pair by hurting New Zealand and putting Australia on target for a comfortable series clean sweep. Johnson stung the hosts in their impossible pursuit of 479 with 3 for 39 and left a few physical bruises as well during hostile spells either side of tea.

Roger rolls, Svetlana fails

Roger Federer had to dig deep to win a pair of tiebreaks but Svetlana Kuznetsova was not so lucky as the women's top seed was sent crashing out of the ATP and WTA Sony Ericsson Open on Monday.

Mukul Fouz, Biltu Club win big

Bewtha Mukul Fouz recorded a four-wicket victory over Tiger Sporting Club in the Khan Real Estate Second Division Cricket League at the Government Boys' High School playground here on Tuesday.

Pinku, Ranjit advance

As many as thirteen players advanced to the next round of the men's singles event of the Runner Group Independence Day Open Tennis competition after winning their respective games at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday.

Cricketers vow not to take drugs

Thirty-three school cricketers of Shivalaya upazila in Manikganj took oath for building a drug-free society. They raised their hands and promised that they would never take drugs.

Peace deal down under

Media groups and Australian sports bodies signed a code of conduct on Tuesday aimed at ending years of disputes and boycotts over press coverage of major sporting events.

Tevez thrashes Wigan

Carlos Tevez scored a hattrick as Manchester City moved up to fifth in the Premier League table with a 3-0 victory over 10-man Wigan at Eastlands on Monday.

The nuclear marriage!

Pakistani cricket star Shoaib Malik and India's top female tennis player Sania Mirza plan to wed in a unique union bridging the two nations' bitter sporting and political divide.

Monaco thwart Auxerre

Auxerre' hopes of going top of the French championship were dashed on Monday after they were held 0-0 away at Monaco.

A dream tie for purists

Thierry Henry will make an emotional return to Arsenal for Wednes-day's Champions League quarterfinal, but the Barcelona striker could be forced to surrender the spotlight at the Emirates Stadium to his team-mate Lionel Messi.

Inter battling fatigue

Inter Milan's defeat to AS Roma at the weekend has sparked worries that the Serie A leaders are suffering from fatigue ahead of Wednesday's Champions League quarterfinal, first leg at home to CSKA Moscow.

Dog bites Maradona

Argentina coach Diego Maradona has been hospitalized after one of his dogs bit him while he was playing with the animal at home, TV reports said Tuesday.

2-match ban on Drogba

Chelsea striker Didier Drogba has been handed a two-match European ban after being sent-off during Chelsea's Champions League last-16 second leg defeat to Inter Milan.

KFA offers cash rewards

South Korea on Tuesday offered handsome cash rewards to encourage its team to advance to the second round of the World Cup finals in June.

Business

Solar power lights up BB

Central bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman yesterday urged banks, business organisations and households to go for green power systems to make their respective offices and residences environment-friendly.

MCCI suggests reduced duty on input import

The Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) yesterday asked the government to cut duties on the import of raw materials and intermediate goods in the next budget for 2010-2011.

IIDFC signs deal with Indian company over ICT village

Industrial and Infrastructure Development Finance Company (IIDFC) Ltd yesterday signed a deal with India's National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) Ltd to get technical support to help set up the first private sector ICT village in Bangladesh.

Indian court asks Lafarge to get fresh assessment

The Indian Supreme Court has asked cement maker Lafarge to get a fresh environment impact assessment (EIA) for its limestone mines in the forests of Meghalaya state, meant for its Bangladesh project.

Overseas job loan, not so popular

Sheikh Masum, 30, came to know one year ago that banks will give loan to bear his costs for overseas employment. He went to a bank branch with a high hope that he would not need to mortgage his land or borrow from the village lenders.

DCCI and Katalyst to promote jute, jute goods

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and Katalyst, a market development project, will work together to promote jute, jute goods and small market entrepreneurs.

IFIC 1st Mutual Fund starts trade tomorrow

IFIC Bank 1st Mutual Fund is expected to start trade on bourses tomorrow.

Savings-investment gap main development challenge: Muhith

The main development challenge the country is facing now is the gap between savings and new investment, and if a balance is ensured, Bangladesh will be able to increase its public expenditure up to 20 percent, said the finance minister yesterday.

Dhaka bourse calls for calm

The Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday called upon the investors not to lose nerve, saying that the market situation is better now than early last year.

Dhaka-Istanbul direct flight soon

Turkish Airlines will start direct flight from Istanbul to Dhaka in two to three months, aiming at strengthening trade and commerce ties between the two countries.

US Congressman assures Dhaka of passing bill on zero tariff benefit

US Congressman Jim McDermott assured Bangladesh of extending his all-out assistance in passing the New Partnership for Trade Development Act at the US House of Representatives.

Greek fundraising effort disappointing: Analysts

A Greek gamble to raise urgently needed money was judged a semi-success on Tuesday, as analysts warned that the debt-laden country is still at risk and the euro is likely to remain weak.

Markets post marginal gain

Stocks finished marginally up supported by early gains although selling pressure toward the end of the trading eroded much of the gain in the morning trade.

On-the-job safety a must

Deaths at workplaces continue every year because of the government's failure to go by the existing safety laws, or bring culpable factory owners to book.

Malaysia plans major economic overhaul

Malaysia Tuesday unveiled plans for bold economic reforms including an overhaul of racial preferences for majority Malays, in a roadmap to achieve developed-nation status by 2020.

CORPORATE BRIEFS

CONTINENTAL INSURANCE
Normal trade of the insurer's shares resumes today following the announcement of record date for AGM and EGM. On receipt of SEC nod, another record date for entitlement of the proposed rights share will be notified.

MTB okays 20pc stock dividend

The annual general meeting (AGM) of Mutual Trust Bank yesterday approved a 20 percent stock dividend for the financial year ended December 31, 2009.

Oil prices tread water after big gains

Crude oil prices paused on Tuesday, as traders digested bumper gains made the previous day, and awaited this week's weekly US energy inventories report, analysts said.

Singapore Airlines fares go up from tomorrow

Airfares have gone up in recent months on the back of stronger demand for air travel, and the next hike is due to hit travellers on Thursday, when Singapore Airlines (SIA) increases ticket prices.

British economy grows by 0.4pc in fourth quarter

The British escaped from a record-length recession in better-than-expected shape during the fourth quarter of 2009, official data showed on Tuesday.

Toyota promises quicker response on quality issues

Toyota promised Tuesday to respond faster to customer complaints as it held its first meeting of a committee of quality experts set up to help salvage a reputation battered by massive recalls and reports of runaway vehicles.

HKs Hutchison Whampoa reports 12pc rise in profits

Hong Kong's Hutchison Whampoa said Tuesday net profit rose 12 percent last year, as gains from property sale and the sale of assets more than offset losses at its energy and 3G technology units.

McDonald's to nearly double China outlets in three years

McDonald's said Tuesday it plans to nearly double its number of outlets in China by the end of 2013 as the US fast-food giant seeks to expand its presence in the world's biggest developing economy.

Metropolitan

Call for effective, transparent governance in S Asian states

A two-day workshop on government performance management (GPM) for senior lawmakers of South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries began in New Delhi yesterday.

Hearing on writ petition not held

The hearing on a writ petition challenging the validity of the law enforcers' action barring a photography exhibition on much-talked-about extrajudicial killings at Drik Gallery in the city could not take place before the High Court yesterday following a time petition moved by the government side.

BNP out to foil war crimes trial

Despite repeated calls to cooperate with the government for trying war criminals, BNP is hatching a conspiracy to foil the process of trying war criminals by making audacious remarks, said State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam yesterday.

Acute water, power crises at DU hall

The resident students of Bangladesh-Kuwait Moitri Hall at Dhaka University have been suffering from acute water and power shortages for the last few weeks.

Survey on different languages stressed

Speakers at a seminar in the city yesterday recommended that a survey be conducted to know the status of different languages in the country.

Prof Fyzennessa's anniversary of death today

Today is the 6th death anniversary of Prof Noorun Nahar Fyzennessa of IER, Dhaka University, former provost of Rokeya Hall, first woman member of DU syndicate, first woman member of Pay Commission, president of Dhaka City Mahila Parishad, says a press release.

Ctg UK visa centre closed from tomorrow

The UK Border Agency yesterday announced the closure of the UK visa application centre in Chittagong with effect from tomorrow, said a press release of British High Commission in Dhaka.

Enact law to strengthen disaster preparedness programmes

Speakers at a mock parliamentary debate session yesterday stressed the need to formulate a Disaster Management Act to strengthen disaster preparedness programmes in Bangladesh.

All set to hold HSC exams tomorrow

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said the government has completed all necessary preparations to hold the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) and its equivalent examinations in a peaceful and free of cheating environment.

Remove obstacles to trying war criminals

Karmojibi Nari (KN) yesterday urged the government to take initiatives to remove all obstacles to trying war criminals as early as possible, says a press release.

Call to increase social safety net coverage for elderly people

Speakers at a programme yesterday urged the government to increase the coverage of social safety net for the rapidly growing aged population, including enhanced medical services, social pensions and insurance coverage.

G4S ranked 7th among UK's top employers

G4S plc has been ranked seventh out of 56 UK-based companies in a programme that identifies some of the smartest and most forward-thinking companies in the country, says a press release.

Help try war criminals

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad here yesterday sought cooperation from people of all walks of life to speed up trial of war criminals.

Country has plunged into disastrous situation

The country has plunged into a socio-economic and political disaster in less than 13 months of the Awami League rule, Chittagong BNP leaders said yesterday.

Most child cancer patients die without medical treatment

About 7000-9000 cases of childhood cancer occur every year in the country, but less than 500 of them receive treatment, speakers said at a workshop yesterday.

BCL agitation hampers CU classes for second day

Academic activities at Chittagong University were hampered for the second consecutive day as Bangladesh Chhatra League activists continued their agitation programme halting CU shuttle trains here yesterday.

Road crashes kill four

At least four people were killed and three others injured in separate road accidents in Magura, Jhalakathi and Comilla yesterday.

MIST council meet held

The 11th council meeting of the Military Institute of Science and Technology (MIST) was held at the institute at Mirpur Cantonment in the city yesterday, says an ISPR release.

UZ chairmen threaten road, rail, river blockade

Bangladesh Upazila Chairmen-Vice Chairmen Oikya Parishad yesterday threatened the government to blockade road, rail and river ways on April 15 if it does not meet their 10-point demand by April 14.

Community can play role in disaster management

Oxfam GB yesterday said active participation of people and community mobilisation could play a vital role in disaster management, says a press release.

'BNP claim to misguide nation'

Krishak Sramik Janata League President Kader Siddique yesterday said BNP had claimed Ziaur Rahman as the proclaimer of independence only to misguide the nation.

Medical colleges now under BSMMU

All public and private medical colleges, dental colleges, nursing and postgraduate institutions have been brought under Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.

Students vow to make graft-free country

Hundreds of students from different schools, colleges and universities at a programme yesterday vowed to build a Bangladesh free from corruption and communalism, says a press release.

Schoolboy found dead in city

Police recovered a floating body of a schoolboy from a ditch in Kazla area of Jatrabari in the city yesterday.

15 BDR men appeal for retracting confession

Fifteen members of Bangladesh Rifles yesterday appealed to a Dhaka court for retracting their confessional statements made in connection with February 2009 BDR carnage at Pilkhana.

National

297 level crossings out of 415 have no gates or gatemen

A staggering 297 of 415 level crossings on 540 kilometres rail tracks in eight northern districts under Lalmonirhat West Zone Railway Division have remained without gates and gatemen for a long time, exposing commuters and vehicles to accidents.

KHDC councillor resigns in face of AL agitation

A councillor of Khagrachhari Hill District Council (KHDC) resigned yesterday in the face of agitation by the ruling party men.

Schoolboy abducted for ransom in Chuadanga

Incidents of abduction are on rise in Meherpur, Chuadanga and Kushtia as four people were abducted in the three districts for ransom in the last two months since January 25.

IO changed, five suspects remanded for three days

Sylhet Kotwali police yesterday took five people, arrested in connection with the killing of college teacher Harun ur Rashid, on remand for three days.

BCL besieges RU statistics dept

Leaders and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) at Rajshahi University (RU) yesterday laid a siege to the office of the statistics department alleging secret liaison between a section of teachers and Shibir men.

Crab catcher survives tiger attack

Incredible though, a crab catcher yesterday fought a 15-minute battle with a man-eater and survived the attack in the deep forest of the Sundarbans.

Another CU student murdered, body found beside rail tracks

Body of another student of Chittagong University (CU) was found beside railway tracks at Borodighir Par under Hathazari upazila of the district on Monday.

Traders observe hartal, lay siege to police station

Hundreds of traders of Shahzadpur upazila in Sirajganj yesterday observed a half-day hartal and laid a siege to local police station protesting deterioration of law and order in the upazila.

Indigenous woman killed allegedly by settlers

An indigenous woman was chopped to death allegedly by some Bangalee settlers over land dispute at Ghilachhari Talukder para under Kawkhali upazila on Monday.

Bogra Jubo League, BCL men sued by AL leader

Bogra Chief Judicial Magistrate yesterday ordered police to a record a case against 30 people including three leaders and workers of Chhatra League and Jubo League on criminal charges.

Transport strike in Rangpur

Transport owners and workers yesterday jointly enforced a transport strike on all routes of the district for an indefinite period. Rangpur Motor Bus Owners Association and Rangpur Transport Workers Union enforced the strike to press home their 12-point demand including reconstruction of three bus terminals of the town. At a press conference held here on Monday, association secretary Moshiur Rahman Ranga and Rangpur Transport Workers' Association secretary Abdul Majid declared that they would continue the strike until their demands are met.

Mud collapse kills two

Two workers were killed in mud collapse while working at a brick field at Sandalpur village in Dhanbari upazila on Monday afternoon. Deceased Abdul Halim, 25, and Nurul Islam alias Chan Mia, 30, hailed from Palbari village in the upazila. Police said a chunk of mud collapsed on the two leaving Halim dead on the spot. Locals rescued Nurul in a critical condition and shifted him to the local health complex where he died in the evening.

Woman jailed for killing

A court here yesterday sentenced a woman to life term rigorous imprisonment (RI) for killing her husband. Convict Monwara was second wife of victim 45-year-old Moshin Ali. The judge of Bogra Additional District and Sessions Judge Court-3 also fined Monwara Tk 20,000. According to the prosecution story, Monwara cut Moshin's penis at dead of night on June 23 in 2006 as he leased out 8 decimal of land against her will for marriage of Morsheda, an offspring of his first wife. Moshin died instantaneously. On investigation, Gabtoli police station sub-inspector (SI) Anwar Hossain submitted a charge sheet on June 31, 2007 against Monwara. Judge Nitai Chandra pronounced the verdict.

Snake kills charmer

A snake charmer died here from snake-bite on Monday night. Victim Naren,45, hailed from Bakultala village under Bochagonj upazila in Dinajpur district. Naren was playing with a snake at Unatrish Mile bazaar under Thakurgaon Sadar upazila in the afternoon. All of a sudden the snake bite him on his right hand. After a few minutes he fell on the ground. Locals rushed him to Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital in a critical condition. There he died without treatment at about 7:30pm as no vaccination was available there.

Extortionist held

People on Monday night caught red-handed an extortionist with a pipe-gun from Chandanganti village in Belkuchi upazila on Monday night. Extortionist Shah Alam, 24, is son of Monirul Islam of Garamashi village in the same upazila. At that time, Shah Alam was collecting illegal toll from two of his neighbours at gun point with the help of some of his accomplices. Hearing scream of the victims, locals rushed to the spot, chased the culprits and caught Shah Alam red-handed. But his accomplices managed to flee. Locals gave him a good beating and later handed him along with the firearm over to Belkuchi police. A case was also lodged with Belkuchi police station in this connection.

Letters

Jute trade

Jute trade is manipulated by local touts and middlemen while the farmers are deprived.

New leaves

The city is coming to life again ...trees with new leaves. In spite of traffic jams, the newly grown leaves can make a person a little happy that still we have some greenery! This will inspire us to plant more!

Reckless bus drivers

I would like to thank The Daily Star for its recent articles on the recklessness and carelessness of the bus drivers in Dhaka. As in many other cases, I feel good that even in our society we have the writers in DS to be on our side, the public.

Digital load shedding

The present government wanted to make a Digital Bangladesh but what we find is digital load shedding all over the country and it is intolerable at Dhaka. The prices of essential goods are skyrocketing; corruption has increased dramatically; law and order situation has deteriorated significantly; human rights are at stake and government offices are not functioning smoothly!

War crime!

On March 22, 2010 The Daily Star published a report 'Hapless freedom fighter lives at cremation ground'.

Boosting capital market

It is known to people concerned that the capital market in Bangladesh has been developing rapidly but is suffering from tremendous short supply of stocks to invest. In addition to that in principle the government has accepted the policy of private, public partnership (PPP) to accelerate economic development. A mentionable amount has been allocated for PPP in the current national budget but even with the passing of nine months, the government could not make any investment. The government can address the problem by converting the Progoti Industries into a public limited company (PLC) and dispose of a portion of shares to public.

Artho Rin Ain

The Artho Rin Ain 2003 was introduced by the past BNP/Jamaat government as amended law of the Artho Rin Ain 2001. It has some provisions that violate the fundamental rights of citizens guaranteed by the country's Constitution.

Billboard tragedy

Following the recent tragic death of two persons due to billboards crashing down on them, the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) has already taken an initiative to dismantle all the illegal billboards. There are a lot of billboards in Chittagong also, which may cause such tragic death to pedestrians any time.

Trial of war criminals

Every human being wants to lead an independent life. Every nation wants independence. We achieved our independence through the blood of millions of martyrs. This year the govt has started the trial of war criminals. It will be our achievement.

Making cities look better

Cities in Bangladesh are getting larger every day, so are the numbers of roadside buildings. However, the beauty of a city largely depends on the colourful appearance of its on and off road installations.

Sweepers losing jobs

We are an independent country. We have a flag of our own. That flag reveals our unity and brotherhood. Then why have we failed to establish a just social order? I watched one documentary in channel- i regarding the backwardness of the sweepers.

Our parliament

Parliament is the powerhouse of a democratic country. The persons who come here are very respectable. They are representatives of our hopes, aspirations and future.

Wasa story

I have been reading the news about the Dhaka Wasa supplying stinky, filthy and contaminated water to the city dwellers for the last few days. But Wasa denies the allegations against it. Therefore, a parliamentary standing committee has taken some steps in this connection to have a good result immediately.

Education minister's comment

This refers to the comment of the Education Minister that the government will not tolerate any kind of anarchy in the public universities. Those who create disorder and hamper peaceful environment in the universities in the guise of studentship will be resisted with an iron hand. The minister was addressing a press conference after discussion with the vice chancellors of different public universities and chairman of the University Grants Commission on improving the standard of university education. He added that stern actions would be taken against those involved in killing, tender manipulation, extortions, seat business and admission trade. The minister called upon the university authorities to take tough action against those involved in crime.

What a relief!

Our heartfelt thanks to the government for abandoning the Day Light Saving plan. We are feeling very happy and relieved. When DST was introduced nobody liked it.

Wastage of power

I have seen an advertisement in your paper from electricity authorities. They have asked people to avoid extra lighting. I live at Nikunja-2 and normally use the airport road between 8:00--9:00pm every day when I return home.

Mental health

Mental health is deeply influenced by climatic factors. It is now apparent that extreme climatic events can cause significant psychological stress with long-lasting effects on anxiety levels and depression. There would be more devastating permanent mental health impact on the survivors like a child. UNFCCC 4th report on global warming stated that there is a direct association between the presence of major mental illness like acute psychosis and schizophrenia in tropical countries. Extreme climate change events like heat stoke which manifest as delirium and other neuro-psychiatric syndromes characterized by altered consciousness to agitation, restlessness, unconsciousness and even death. Major population displacement after an extreme climatic event would cause social disruption, unemployment, social conflicts, mental unrest and economic burden and uncertainty as we see in Haiti following a massive earthquake. All these factors are associated with increased prevalence of mental disorders like anxiety, depression and stress disorders. Besides, increase salinity of water in the coastal area would hamper food production which results in malnutrition and child developmental disorders. Natural disasters have shown to result in increased domestic violence due to frustration and anger. Flood and drought cause food scarcity, hunger and malnutrition. Drought contributes to mental agony and depression among farmers due to financial hardship which increases suicide rate among them. According to DoE, the annual incidence of mental disorder was 22431 per year which was higher than that of Dengue (3305 per year).

Boundary walls

Historically, traditionally and culturally, the people of our land tend to demarcate their premises with walls made of bricks. These walls invite graffiti and writings of all sorts ranging from political slogans to promotion of noodles and detergents in the form of posters and stickers. The city and its surroundings appear dirty, narrow and suffocating. People feel encouraged to against the walls. The anti-social elements find easy refuge within the premises.

Religious gurus

One of the sons of a close relative of mine in Bangladesh was a college drop-out. Before finishing his graduation he stopped his studies. We know him as a vagabond. He had long beard and long hair and was roaming about with some other bearded and long haired people. Now he reportedly has become a pious pir. According to his mother, he has reportedly earned some divine power. Not yet married, he wears lungi and easy shirts and roam about in the remote areas of the country.

International

G-8 nations press Iran sanctions drive

Top diplomats from the world's leading economies are ramping up pressure on Iran to prove its nuclear ambitions are peaceful, renewing calls for the country to be hit with new international sanctions if it fails to comply.

China welcomes Obama's 'positive attitude'

China said yesterday it welcomed US President Barack Obama's pledge to develop a positive relationship with Beijing, as the two countries try to overcome deep strains in their ties.

'Teen killed' in Gaza clashes

A Palestinian teenager was killed and 12 people were wounded, including children, as Israeli troops opened fire at "Land Day" demonstrators near the Gaza border, Palestinian medics said yesterday.

Thailand's red protesters refuse more talks

Thailand's anti-government "Red Shirts" yesterday rejected the prime minister's offer of more talks and said negotiations had failed because he would not meet their 15-day deadline to call elections.

Putin orders to hunt down militants

Strongman Vladimir Putin yesterday ordered Russia's security forces to hunt down the organisers of the metro bombings that killed 39, saying they should be "scraped out" from the bottom of sewers.

Berlusconi makes election gains

Premier Silvio Berlusconi's coalition made a strong showing in regional elections across Italy, winning crucial races and snatching four areas from the opposition, final returns showed yesterday.

Japan worried about China execution

Japan said yesterday it was "apprehensive" about the imminent execution of one of its nationals in China, the first time a Japanese has been put to death there since the nations normalised diplomatic ties in 1972.

Tony Blair returns to campaign trail

Britain's former leader Tony Blair will be making a foray back into domestic politics ahead of the national election with a speech to his old local constituency.

Atom smasher achieves record power 'Big Bang' collisions

Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher at CERN said yesterday that they had collided protons at record power, mimicking conditions close to the Big Bang that created the universe.

Pak court gives govt 24 hours

Pakistan's supreme court yesterday gave the government a 24-hour ultimatum to implement a ruling against corruption allegedly perpetrated by officials or face action.

G8 backs Obama's call for swift Afghan progress

G8 foreign ministers are following US President Barack Obama in calling for swift progress on a host of issues from Afghanistan's leader Hamid Karzai, including measures to combat graft.

Troops kill 30 militants in Pakistan

Pakistani fighter jets bombed several militant hideouts near the Afghan border yesterday, killing at least 30 suspected insurgents, an official said.

Pakistan in no hurry for talk: Qureshi

Reiterating that his country wants a purposeful dialogue with India for an early resolution of all outstanding issues, including and Kashmir and the river water sharing dispute, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said Islamabad is no hurry to hold talks with New Delhi.

India voices against US military aid to Pakistan

The US military aid to Pakistan is a matter of concern for India, which has been conveyed to the Obama administration, Air Chief Marshal P V Naik said today. "The aid being given to Pakistan is a matter of concern to us definitely and we have made it known.

Sonia Gandhi back as NAC chairperson

Head of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi is back as the chief of National Advisory Council (NAC) revived by the Indian government after four years.

Iran diplomat 'freed in Pakistan'

Iran's intelligence agents mounted a "complicated" cross-border mission and freed an Iranian diplomat kidnapped in 2008 by gunmen in north-western Pakistan, state television reported yesterday.

Rajiv Gandhi assassin's release plea rejected

Indian authorities have rejected a request for early release made by the woman convicted over the assassination of Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi.

Arts & Entertainment

A master inspirator sings live

Eminent Indian singer Pratul Mukhopadhyay's musical journey started nearly four decades ago with an aim -- after all discussions and arguments have ended, music will stand for humanity.

Mingling of Japanese and Bangladeshi artists

Japan Foundation assisted Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) in organising a weeklong workshop on Japanese water-based woodcut prints. As part of the initiative an exhibition of Japanese artworks is being held at National Art Gallery, BSA.

Five noted personalities honoured with gold medals

The 12-day Independence Day programme organised by Pabna district administration concluded recently. The district administration accorded reception to five renowned individuals with gold medals on the concluding day.

The evolution of saree

A fashion show titled "Evolution of sarees over 100 years" will be held at Ahsan Manzil on April 1 evening, says a press release.

Book fair and film screening on Liberation War begins today

A three-day programme, featuring a book fair and screening of several films on the Liberation War, begins today at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library, says a press release. State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Captain (Retd.) A.B.M Tajul Islam is expected to inaugurate the programme. Bangladesh Enterprise for Development and Security Studies is the organiser of the programme.

Photo exhibition on Liberation War

A weeklong photo exhibition marking Independence Day is on at the Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) central library. The exhibition drew a good turnout.

Banglavision turns four

Today TV channel Banglavision turns four. To mark the anniversary, a press conference was held at Banglavision office on March 29. CEO of Banglavision, Mohammad Barkatullah addressed the press conference.

OP-ED

In the theatre of the absurd

ABSURDITIES sometimes add spice to life, especially ours here in this unfortunate country. When some loyalists of the late General Ziaur Rahman unabashedly informed us the other day that it was he who was Bangladesh's first president, we were not quite surprised. And we were not because of so many other silly happenings we have come across over the years. So when we are enlightened on the fiction of Zia being our first president, we wonder if one of these days someone will not spring forth to inform us that Zia also had a secret role to play in the formulation of the Six Points in the 1960s.

Between a rock and a hard place

THE United States and Pakistan held their first strategic dialogue at the ministerial level in Washington on March 24. The talks were co-chaired by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Creating good jobs

BANGLADESH can celebrate quite a few achievements since independence. These include growing per capita income, lower rate of poverty, and better human development indicators. Nevertheless, moving forward with the development agenda is daunting. Some 59 million people (40 percent of the total population) are officially classified as poor. Per capita income has now grown to about $700 (estimated for 2010), which is still substantially lower than the South Asian average and 55 percent lower than that in India. These concerns are well known to the policy makers. What has received far less attention is the challenge of creating good jobs.

Will the Afghan surge succeed?

MORE than eight years after dismantling the Taliban, the United States is still mired in Afghanistan. Indeed, last October, it launched a much-hyped "surge" to prevent a second Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, not imminent yet, but eminently possible.


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