The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, September 18, 2014


News of: Friday, 2nd of April, 2010

Front Page

Death again for reckless driving

Rash driving has claimed yet another life in the city. A bus yesterday hit a pedestrian in front of Eden College and dragged him for around 30 yards before leaving him too injured to survive.

Brutality personified

Fifty-nine-year-old BDR Subedar Major Gofran Malllick became the centre of focus when 668 accused of the 24 Rifle Battalion were hauled before the Special Court-5 on the second day's proceedings yesterday.

Schoolboy stabbed to death in Sylhet

A schoolboy, who was stabbed by his playmates in the city's Badam Bagicha area Wednesday over playing football at a nearby field, died yesterday morning.

Bashundhara chief to be quizzed by cops

The Detective Branch of Police is going to summon Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam for quizzing in connection with the DCC ward councillor Ahmed Hossain killing case.

60 lakh Ansar, VDP men to combat militancy

The government plans to deploy around 60 lakh Ansar and Village Defence Party (VDP) members countrywide to combat militancy and improve law and order.

Toxic waste chokes Louhajang river

The Louhajang river, a tributary of Dhaleswari in Tangail, has turned extremely poisonous due to rampant dumping of toxic industrial waste.

4 more new species of butterfly spotted

Researchers of Jahangirnagar University have spotted four new species of butterflies on the campus. With this, the variety of butterfly species on the campus rose to 84.

Project for widow allowance stuck

A project for providing monthly allowance to poor widows and female divorcees in fiscal year 2010-11 is stuck because of claims of sole authority over the scheme by the social welfare and women affairs ministries.

50 villages go under water

At least 50 villages under Koira and Dakop upazilas were inundated as the ring embankments developed breaches at several points Wednesday afternoon.

HR Watch asks govt not to curb ACC power

Human Rights Watch, a New York-based rights body, asked the government not to adopt any amendment that would restrict the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to take independent action against corrupt government officials and ruling party members.

Schoolboy killed under truck wheels

A six-year-old schoolboy was crashed under the wheels of a speedy truck in Narail yesterday morning.

Cancer affects 9,000 kids a yr

About 7,000-9,000 children are diagnosed with cancer every year in the country but less than 500 receive treatment while the survival rate is only around 10-20 per cent.

Saarc Summit to focus on climate battle

The Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan is all set for hosting the 16th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) Summit scheduled for April 28-29.

5 fertiliser factories shut from tonight

Five fertiliser factories will be shut down from midnight today to supply 246 millions of cubic feet per day (mmcfd) more gas to power plants to generate 500 megawatt power.

UN to send observers, if requested

The United Nations hopes that Bangladesh will maintain international standard in trying 1971 war criminals.

47 students expelled on first day of HSC exams

A total of 47 students were expelled while a madrasa teacher was arrested for adopting unfair means on the first day of Higher Secondary and its equivalent Alim and Business Management examination yesterday.

Banks asked to suspend accounts of Mir Kasem

The National Board of Revenue yesterday asked banks and financial institutions to suspend transactions in the accounts of Jamaat-e-Islami executive committee member and Diganta Media Corporation Chairman Mir Kasem Ali and his family members.

Solar panel opened at PM's office

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Solar Panel System at the Prime Minister's Office yesterday morning.

2 pirates beaten to death, 7 hurt

Locals severely beat up nine pirates, killing two on the spot, when they were attempting to loot a boat in a remote char area on the river Jamuna in Daulatpur upazila of Manikganj yesterday.

MRP project kicks off

Only 24 persons were enrolled yesterday for machine readable passport on the first day of the process at Department of Immigration and Passport (DIP) office in the capital's Agargaon, although 223 persons collected forms.

Govt using admin to influence by-polls

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain alleged that the government is using the local administration to manipulate Bhola-3 by-election.

JS to pass bills on high-ups' salary hike on Sunday

Parliament is likely to pass six bills next Sunday to increase salaries and allowances of the president, prime minister, ministers, speaker and deputy speaker of parliament, lawmakers and the Supreme Court judges.

200 more trees plundered

Police force from Sreemangal and a detective branch team from Maulvibazar visited Aslom Punji at Nahar Tea Garden yesterday following a written complaint filed by Khasia people Wednesday over chopping down undesignated and young trees.

2 groups hold separate meetings

Two factions of Kushtia district BNP yesterday hosted separate meetings of party's southwestern district units amid chaos and to the embarrassment of central leaders here.

Refreshing gesture at border

A Bangladeshi woman, living in an enclave near the international border on the Indian side, has given birth to a child at a hospital in Cooch Behar district, her nearest medical facility.

Zardari's powers to be clipped

In what could further clip the powers of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari , the Parliamentary Committee on Constitutional Reforms (PCCR) has signed the draft of the 18th Constitution Amendment bill.

Rajapakse visits Tamil heartland

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse reached out yesterday to the country's ethnic minority Tamils as he made his first visit to their cultural heartland since his re-election.

30 Yemeni prisoners escape after blast at jail

Around 30 prisoners escaped after a bomb explosion at a prison in southern Yemen yesterday, police said, identifying the fugitives as sympathisers of a secessionist movement.

Editorial

Boys in ballooning poverty

IMAGES speak louder than words do. The pictures of young boys peppered in white powder in yesterday's issue of this newspaper tell us a tale that we wish were not there at all. And we say that because of all the endless litany of sadness we have come across all these years about the sufferings of the poor and the helpless. As our report puts it, one could be quite mistaken into thinking that these boys had just come through a snowfall. The truth is something else: they happen to be working for a balloon factory all day and well into the evening for a pittance, which means something between Tk. 150 and Tk. 300 a week at 14 hours a day. If ever there was reason to imagine man's inhumanity to his fellow beings, here it is. And don't let go of the fact that these boys are of an age when they should be playing with the balloons rather than helping to manufacture them. Such are the economic compulsions that often lay lives waste in this country.

Bridges obstructive?

JUST how something so thoughtless, short-sighted and wasteful a project in brick, mortar and rods could be implemented across rivers and canals baffles one to no end! But this is only possible perhaps in our peculiar context marked by irresponsible utilisation of allocation that once given are seldom accounted for. These hardly ever meet physical targets and yet that is how things have been for years on end. Even the original specifications of bridges and culverts get altered at the whim and caprice of an implementing agency to suit corrupt and collusive purposes.

Sports

No NCL one-dayers

The one-day leg of the National Cricket League (NCL) will not see the light of day at least for this domestic season.

Pirates power into semis

Pirates of Chittagong made it to the semifinals of the Port City T20 Cricket League with a 3-run victory over Bengal Tigers in a nailbiting encounter at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium yesterday. Despite the defeat, Bengal Tigers also made it to the semis from this group.

Barca blitz, Gunners grit

Arsenal came off the ropes to secure a 2-2 draw with Barcelona that kept their Champions League dream alive in the most unlikely fashion on an exhilarating night at the Emirates.

Every rose has its thorn

As Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik are busy working out how their planned April 11 marriage can be arranged, an opponent in the guise of Ayesha Siddiqui's father is threatening to take the matter to court.

Local Snippets

GIRLS FOOTBALL
Maisha scored a hattrick as Sir John Wilson School blanked Dawn Grammar School 4-0 in the Citycell Dhaka Metropolis School (Girls) Football Championship at the Sultana Kamal Women's Sports Complex ground yesterday.

KKR return to winning ways

Inspired by their captain Saurav Ganguly and urged on by the cauldron that is the Eden Gardens, Kolkata Knight Riders roared back into the Indian Premier League with a clinical win over Deccan Chargers yesterday.

Inter just ahead

Inter Milan will take a slender lead to the Luzhniki Stadium next Tuesday after beating CSKA Moscow 1-0 at the San Siro here on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.

Our best half: Pep

Pep Guardiola described Barcelona's supremely dominant first-half performance against Arsenal as "the best 45 minutes" the Catalans have produced during his reign.

Fabregas fears the worst

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas fears he may not play again this season after suffering a serious leg injury in Wednesday's 2-2 Champions League quarterfinal draw against Barcelona.

Walcott to make Barca pay

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott insists his side can make Barcelona pay for failing to turn their fantasy football into a Champions League rout against the Gunners.

Arshavin out for three weeks

Andrey Arshavin will be sidelined for up to three weeks, Arsenal's Russian star has revealed after limping out of his side's 2-2 Champions League quarterfinal draw with Barcelona.

Rooney's WC not damaged

England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has suffered "minor ligament damage" and a scan of his injured ankle showed no fracture, his club said on Thursday.

SA draw with Paraguay

World Cup hosts South Africa continued their buildup to this summer's tournament with an encouraging 1-1 draw against Paraguay here late Wednesday.

Loew facing selection headache

Germany coach Joachim Loew will unveil a pre-World Cup squad on May 6, the German football federation (DFB) said Thursday.

Biggies meet in semis

Former world number ones Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters set up Belgian blockbuster in the semifinals of the Sony Ericsson Open Wednesday, while Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick booked a men's showdown.

Current stars dominate

Aravinda de Silva, Muttiah Muralidaran, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were unanimous choices for Sri Lanka's all-time XI, picked by a ten-member Cricinfo jury of ex-players and journalists. Notable omissions included Tillakaratne Dilshan and Thilan Samaraweera.

Day-night Tests distant

There is a long way to go before day-night Test cricket becomes a reality as there is still no viable alternative to the red colour ball, said Dave Richardson, International Cricket Council's (ICC) general manager of cricket.

Clarke awaits promotion

Michael Clarke's increasing seniority within the Test team is set to continue with his likely promotion to No. 4 during the series against Pakistan in England. As the vice-captain, Clarke is being groomed to take over the leadership whenever Ricky Ponting retires and over the past year he has shouldered that responsibility by being Australia's leading run scorer with 1,171 at 65.05.

Naved wants to know the reason

Pakistan all-rounder Navedul Hasan legally requested cricket authorities explain why he was banned for a year and fined heavily, an official said Wednesday.

Mickey to coach WA

Former South Africa coach Mickey Arthur will coach Western Australia for the next three seasons, the Western Australian Cricket Association (WACA) said on Thursday.

Prince Charles to attend CWG inauguration

Britain's Prince Charles will attend the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games (CWG) to be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here.

PCL LATEST

CHITTAGONG MOHAMME-DAN: 108 all out

Business

Two new players poised for listing

The Securities and Exchange Commission yesterday gave the green light to two companies -- United Airways and Malek Spinning Mills -- to go public to raise Tk 100 crore each.

NBR must widen reach to stockmarket

A pre-budget roundtable yesterday suggested the National Board of Revenue (NBR) expand its reach to stockmarket to bring more people under the tax net.

Planning commission needs more strength

Veteran economist Prof Nurul Islam yesterday said politicians were against empowering the planning commission in 1972.

Investment proposals rise 22.57pc in Feb

Proposed foreign and joint-venture investment in the country declined 33.75 percent in February, compared to the previous month's such investment proposals worth Tk 156.68 crore, according to a statement.

Stocks end in the black

Stocks finished higher yesterday, guided mainly by telecom giant Grameenphone and power shares as investors looked to profit gains.

Resolve immediately gas-power-water crisis

Lawmakers in pre-budget discussion yesterday pointed to immediate resolution of the public utility service issues like gas, power and water and containing the prices of essentials.

India to give Rs 625cr stimulus for exports of four specific items

India has announced a Rs 625 crore fresh package of incentives for exporters of garments, engineering, electronics and agro products to select markets where the demand for the goods is yet to pick up.

Huawei rings up profit

Huawei has announced an increase in revenue and net profit for 2009, registering a 19 percent growth in revenues over the previous year and expecting a 20 percent rise this year, said a statement.

Luxury giant to buy former fashion editor's web venture

Global luxury giant Richemont said on Thursday it was buying up a pioneering 10-year-old web-based women's fashion retailer, Net-a-Porter, founded by a former editor and valued at 350 million pounds.

BB roadshow reaches Dinajpur, Thakurgaon

Bangladesh Bank's roadshow reached Dinajpur and Thakurgaon districts yesterday.

Formal handover of local ship to Dutch buyer today

Ananda Shipyard and Slipways Ltd, the country's leading shipbuilding company, is going to formally handover its oceangoing ship Stella Moon to Dutch buyers Stella Shipping tomorrow.

CORPORATE BRIEFS

ISLAMIC1 FINANCE & INVESTMENT
The company's share trading will remain suspended on Sunday, the record date. Another record date for entitlement of the proposed right share will be notified later after obtaining approval from SEC.

Oil above $83

Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade Thursday after investors took profits following a surge near 17-month highs, analysts said.

Metropolitan

Development crucial for ethnic people to build inclusive society

Development activities must reach ethnic minority communities for building an inclusive society and ensuring true democracy in the country, speakers at a seminar said yesterday.

Political will a must to stop HR violations

Speakers at a book launching ceremony yesterday stressed the need for developing a political will to stop human rights violation.

Cop closed for beating C&F official in Ctg

A traffic constable was closed on charges of beating a rickshaw passenger at Badamtali intersection in the port city of Chittagong yesterday.

Autism Awareness Day today

World Autism Awareness Day will be observed in the country today as elsewhere across the globe.

'Women yet to get due recognition for contribution to agri sector'

Almost 80 percent women of the country are directly or indirectly involved in agricultural activities, but they do not get the recognition they deserve, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.

Implement development projects at faster pace

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the government officials not to delay formulating and implementing development projects.

'Resolve water, power crises immediately'

Different social organisations along with people from all walks of life staged demonstrations in the city yesterday demanding smooth supply of water, electricity and gas.

Call to change attitude towards autistic children

National Prof Dr MR Khan yesterday called on the people to change their negative attitude towards autistic children as well as to extend their cooperation for rehabilitation of the children.

18 killed in 'crossfire' in 3 months

Eighteen people died in 'crossfire' with law enforcement agencies in the last three months, according to a survey report prepared by Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), a human rights organisation.

Final results of 28th BCS soon

The final results of 28th Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) examinations under Public Service Commission (PSC) will be published soon while the proceedings of 29th BCS will be completed by this year.

Mahmudur files 42cr damage suit against home ministry

Acting Editor of the Amar Desh and former energy adviser Mahmudur Rahman yesterday filed a 42 crore damage suit against the home ministry, Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder and officer-in-charge (immigration) of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport Azizur Rahman with a Dhaka court.

Staff shortage hits family planning programme

Indifferent attitude of the governments towards family planning programme has undermined the success that it achieved in 1980s while manpower shortage at the field level is making the sector more vulnerable.

Four snatchers held with 2 auto-rickshaws in Ctg

Four muggers of a group engaged in snatching riding on three-wheelers were held with two CNG-run auto-rickshaws here in the port city in the last two days.

Attack on BAU student

A students' union leader of Animal Husbandry Faculty of Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) came under a sudden attack on the campus yesterday.

10 hurt in clash between two groups of traders

Two groups of traders of Chandni Chawk Market in the city yesterday were locked into a clash, leaving at least 10 traders injured.

Four killed in road accidents

Four people were killed in separate road accidents in Mymensingh, Narail and Dhaka yesterday.

20 killed in BSF firing in 3 months

Some 20 Bangladeshi nationals were allegedly killed by the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) along the Bangladesh-India border between January 1 and March 31 this year, according to a report released by Odhikar, a rights group.

Call to provide compensation for affected Sajek families

Different organisations yesterday demanded adequate compensation for the families affected by the recent attacks on ethnic people at Sajek union under Baghaichhari upazila in Rangamati.

3 held with 5 kg hemp in Bogra

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested three people along with 5 kg of hemp at Muradpur in Shibganj upazila on Wednesday night.

Visually impaired man serves legal notice on govt

A visually impaired man and three human rights organisations yesterday served a legal notice on the government, seeking reply within seven days as to why the man would not be issued an admit card to sit for the BCS examinations.

PM condemns terrorist attacks in Russia

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has condemned the terrorist attacks on the metro system in Moscow and expressed her deep shock at the loss of lives in the attacks.

DMCH nurses observe work stoppage

Nurses of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) staged a demonstration and observed work stoppage for one hour yesterday hampering treatment facilities to the patients.

National

Erosion makes hundreds homeless in Chandpur

Erosion by the river Meghna has taken a serious turn much ahead of the rainy season in two upazilas of Chandpur, rendering over 200 families homeless.

Prospective coal mine site attracts visitors, experts

Hundreds of people from surrounding areas gathered at Gorgram village of Sadar upazila from morning yesterday to see the prospective coal mine site as an official of Geological Survey Department said that the 'coal-like substance' found at the spot last week is high quality bitumen.

Vet university reopens Sunday amid fresh BCL threat

Academic activities at Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Science University (CVASU) resume on Sunday around three and a half months after university was closed sine die on December 14 last year.

Sujina's confession recorded

The Judicial Magistrate of Sylhet yesterday afternoon recorded the confessional statement of Government Women's College student Sujina Akhtar Munni under Section 164 in the case involving the killing of college teacher Harun-ur-Rashid.

Transformer thieves tell their tale

Six members of a gang of power transformer thieves have confessed to stealing 100 transformers, most of them from Dhaka City Corporation area.

70 food poisoned in Rangpur

At least 70 poor people fell sick after taking leftover from the food served at a wedding party at Ganeshpur in the town on Wednesday night.

Bumper boro output likely in Dinajpur

Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) is expecting a bumper production of boro paddy in the district this season as 6,858 hectares more than the target have been brought under cultivation.

Sec 144 in Dinajpur

The local administration yesterday afternoon imposed Section 144 at Chawliapatty and adjoining areas in the town for an indefinite period as district unit Jamaat and District Muktijoddha Sangsad announced separate programmes at same venue the same day. Dinajpur District Magistrate Md Abdul Jalil imposed the ban with effect from 8:00am prohibiting any programme at the venue. Dinajpur District Muktijoddha Sangsad called a discussion on the trial of war criminals at 10:30am today while Jamaat called a council of its district representatives at the same time on same day at same place.

Sunamganj BDR trial

Trial of the BDR mutineers of 8 Battalion stationed at Sunamganj under Sylhet sector will begin at 8:30 am today and run till April 3. BDR DG Major General Mainul Islam will be the judge of the special court. An ejlash has already been set up at the Sylhet sector headquarters at Akhalia on Sylhet-Sunamganj road. Twenty BDR men, now in jail, from 8 Battalion will be produced before the court. Commander of 8 Battalion of BDR, Sunamganj Lt Colonel Md Tajul Islam Thakur will be the prosecutor while DAD Md Abdul Wahid will be the complainant.

Flash flood in Netrakona

At least five hundred hectares of boro standing crop were flooded in last 24 hours due to onrush of hill waters from across the border. The affected areas are Jalor haor, Badiarchor, Lamar haor and low-lying areas of Khaliajuri upazila. Netrakona WDB sources said, the water level of the river Dhanu is rising. The six flood protection embankments-- Kirtonkhola, Ranichapur, Chowthar Bandh, Lepshia, Pairer Badh and Selapara Bandh in Khaliajuri upazila are seriously threatened by the floodwaters.

Remand hearing postponed

A Rajshahi court yesterday postponed the hearing on police prayers for remand of three top local leaders of Jamaat and Chhatra Shibir following their petition for changing the court.

Bees raid exam hall!

After biting more than 100 people in two villages three days ago the bees this time have raided an examination hall. The HSC examinees at Shibchar Government Borhamganj College saw hundreds of bees moving around inside the room. Later, the students spotted a beehive under a bench in the room and informed the authorities. The authorities immediately removed the bench. But several hundred bees continued to disturb the examinees. At this, the examinees from Rizia Begum Women's College left their seats and chose to sit at the back of the room. Finally, the bees left the place but some examinees lost at least 20 minutes of their exam hour.

Letters

Vicious vehicles

First of all, congratulations for your four page special issue of March 24th highlighting the murderous vehicles and unlicensed drivers let loose in the streets of Dhaka! People die or are maimed for life; families are destroyed, the wage earner cut-down bringing untold misery for the family. Meanwhile, the killer driver at most has to suffer three years imprisonment if caught. Normally, he will obtain bail, and get lost to carry on his killer career in another city or town in Bangladesh!

Powerless!

With the beginning of noxious summer load shedding has returned. We understand that there are problems which cannot be addressed overnight. But suffering masses should feel their hard days are coming to an end. With a few years outside the country, I am living in Dhaka since December 1971. Saw all the government handling the issues in the way they think right. But some of the problems became complicated than cured.

Quality of education

I agree with the recent comment made by Mr. Olav Seim of UNESCO on the quality of primary and secondary education in Bangladesh. One of the major challenges in education sector in Bangladesh, for that matter in many Asian developing countries, is how to improve the quality of learning. We have been quite successful, mostly with the assistance of donors and government's commitment to increase the enrolment in primary and secondary level (the demand side). Our major focus should now be to find ways to reduce the level of dropout and improving quality of education to contribute to developing a good pool of human capital. One important way we may achieve this goal is through enhancing the student engagement in the learning process which is seriously lacking in our culture of education. Through the strategy of student engagement, the students will enjoy the learning and they will do it in a much more qualitative way than what they learn in the conventional, supply-driven and teacher-cantered learning environment. As the students enjoy learning in this way, the level of dropout will naturally fall. This means we have to work in the supply segment (capacity building of educators) and the environment side (policy and socio-cultural level). Our curriculum should be designed in such a way that it is updated and articulates the right learning objectives, output, pedagogy, assessment and, most importantly, the alignment of all these so that the students can see how it is going to contribute to the development of good human capital who will be able to use the learning to address the challenges they would face. In ensuring this learning environment, we also work on building the capacity of educators so that they are able to create the learning environment in which the student engagement is enhanced. The policy makers' vision is paramount in this case. They should pay high attention to facilitate changing the culture and environment of our learning and teaching.

Cultural nights

Bangladesh is a country of rich cultural heritage. Art and Music form an integral part of our life. Unfortunately, efforts to project the same to the music lovers and art connoisseurs have been frustrating so far. The people are deprived of entertainment. Anybody looking for traditional Bangla songs or dances will be totally disappointed since there are no permanent arrangements for the purpose. The other day I felt embarrassed as I could not find any such place for our foreign visitors. The tourists are totally disappointed and confused and leave our country with a poor image. It may be mentioned that all the big cities including those of the neighbouring countries boast of regular Cultural Nights depicting their culture and tradition. Tourists travelling through those cities even for a few hours are able to appreciate the rich cultural heritage. In our country, such shows are limited to some occasions only like Pahela Baishak, Rabindra Jayanti or on anniversary of some academic institutes/socio-cultural organizations. May I take this opportunity to request the Ministry of Sports and Cultural Affairs as well as private socio-cultural bodies to arrange Cultural Nights on a regular basis at least in Dhaka. Similar shows may be arranged at Chittagong, Rangamati and Cox's Bazaar initially on fixed days of the week. This initiative will also open windows to hunt otherwise hidden talents. Such arrangement will also provide as a source of entertainment in our monotonous life. There are scores of theatre houses/auditoriums across the country lying abandoned throughout the year. Fashion houses are mushrooming in great numbers. I hope they too will come forward and fulfil the vacuum in our socio-cultural arena.

Illegally occupied road

Monipur High School is located at Barabagh under Mirpur-2, Dhaka-1216. Two of my children are studying there. To drop them in the school every day we use a sub-lane located at the entrance road of a residential area. People from the adjacent areas use the approach road to go to Monipur School to drop their children. This is a very busy connecting road between Monipur and Barabagh. At the starting point of the approach road a local leader and his son have set up a wielding shop and few other shops and tea-stalls. The wielding worker does his work on the road which belongs to the city corporation. They occupy at least 20-30% road space keeping their wielding materials on the road and putting us in to deep trouble. During this time it becomes extremely difficult for us to go to school. The shopkeepers and some unruly boys tease the school girls while they pass this road and some time comment on the girls and young housewives.

ECA

Better late than never! At last the government has declared the Saint Martin's Island an Environmentally Critical Area (ECA). During the last few years it was treated just like a public place.

Even softer drink!

World's largest beverage company Coca-Cola recently entered into a fresh joint investment of US $ 12.7 million with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as a part of their global water partnership, the Water and Development Alliance (WADA). With this new investment USAID and the Coca-Cola Company will have committed a total of US $ 28.1 million since 2005 to support 32 projects ensuring supply of safe drinking water and access to basic sanitation in 22 countries worldwide, Africa to Asia. It may be mentioned here that more than one billion people live without access to safe drinking water and 2.6 with no access to basic sanitation. The WADA established by USAID and the Coca-Cola Company is committed to accomplishing lasting and sustainable solutions to global water challenges.

ACC amendments

I found it amusing that the law minister's given reason for the amendments to the ACC law is a desire to see that politicians are not 'harassed'. Frankly, I would have much more respect for him if he simply told the truth which is that no politician and no bureaucrat wants to be held accountable for corruption and hence, to them, an independent ACC is a huge threat. In fairness, this has nothing to do with the minister's political affiliation since former ministers of the previous ruling party believed the same thing. They want to go back to the days of the old Bureau of Anti Corruption which was a cruel joke, to be very charitable.

Fish cultivation

On an average Eskimo people live the longest in the present earth, followed by the Japanese. The reason is obvious, the staple food of Eskimos is fish, and Japanese also take highest quantity of fish. Bengalis were called a fish-rice taking nation once upon a time. But the situation is different now. Thanks to the present government for taking up a mega-project of dredging 300 silted rivers. We hope fish production will be boosted if these rivers are used for fish cultivation.

Mines and Mineral Rules

The Bangladesh government enacted The Mines and Mineral Rules (1968), and later it was amended. But it has a major gap, the legislators never tried to remove this gap in the law. The Mines and Mineral Rules defined the lessee/applicant for exploration licence and mining licences in its 3(a) and 3(b) section. This law permits the applicant or lessee to apply for exploration licence in any area over the country without considering the environmental and habitation issues. Both Bangladeshis and foreign nationals can have accessibility to apply at any time of the year for exploration licence without showing their capability to implement this project.

Flyover at Tongi

I fully endorse the concern voiced by Mr. Niaz A Chowdhury on the above subject. Two day's back, while I was returning from Shingrawly, Shamshernagar, Moulvibazaar, I took this road. Although I had a very comfortable journey but as soon as I entered Tongi, I got stranded. It took almost one and a half hours to cross the railway level crossing located under the flyover bridge. On that hot summer day I saw the sufferings of the people, particularly the women and children. There was no traffic system, no police, no volunteer and everything was running with the formula of "might is right". The bus and truck drivers were so unkind to the smaller vehicles.

Government and people

It is an irony that after self-rule of 40 years, insofar as the average lifespan of Bangladeshis is concerned , we are told that the best is yet to come. More than poverty, what pains the people is the gross indifference and insensitivity of the ruling classes and politicians to their needs. Governance does not end with rhetoric on occasions. We need a strong political will and determination to achieve sustainable development.

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International

China calls for talks on Iran sanctions

China said yesterday it was working for a "peaceful resolution" of the Iranian nuclear standoff, as Tehran sent its top negotiator to Beijing for talks on its disputed atomic programme.

New blast rocks Russia, kills two

A car packed with explosives blew up in Russia's restive North Caucasus yesterday with the country on high alert after an Islamist group claimed the Moscow metro bombings and warned of more strikes.

China wants good relations with India, Pakistan

China's envoy to India Zhang Yan yesterday said that his country wants to have good relations with India and Pakistan, and added that Beijing does want its relations with one country to affect the other.

India kicks off world's biggest census

India kicked off the national census of its billion-plus population yesterday with a 2.5 million strong army of census-takers fanning out across the country to conduct what has been billed the world's largest administrative exercise.

Islamic scholars urge 'extremists' to repent

Muslim scholars from around the world who met this week in Saudi Arabia's holy city Medina have denounced "terrorism" and appealed to "extremists" to repent, a statement said yesterday.

Israel ends probe into Palestinian's death

Israel's military says it will not file any charges in the death of a Palestinian protester last year.

Maritime watchdog issues piracy alert

A maritime watchdog yesterday issued an alert to vessels plying the waters off East Africa after five ships were attacked within 12 hours by heavily armed Somali pirates.

Karzai slams 'foreigners' for vote fraud

President Hamid Karzai launched a stinging rebuke of the international community yesterday, blaming widespread fraud in Afghanistan's recent elections on embassies and UN and EU officials.

Pak troops kill 28 militants

Pakistani troops stormed militant positions and helicopters destroyed vehicles carrying insurgents near the Afghan border yesterday, killing 28 suspected militants and forcing thousands of civilians to flee, officials said.

UN probe on Benazir killing not to be reopened

A UN probe into the killing of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto will not be reopened despite a suggestion that warnings issued by three heads of state on threats to her life be incorporated in the report, an official said.

Pak court gives govt 5 days

Pakistan's supreme court yesterday ordered the government submit a progress report within five days on efforts to re-open money laundering cases in Switzerland.

Gen VK Singh takes charge as Indian Army chief

General Vijay Kumar Singh, who on Wednesday formally took charge as the chief of Indian Army, had taken part in the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971.

Arts & Entertainment

Art for the public

"Long before the introduction of written text there was drawing/painting. To describe certain chain of events, painting has always been very effectively used. It is a visual medium which has a strong universal appeal and capacity; a picture can move whoever sees it at an instant," said artist Moniruzzaman at Shammilito Shangskritik Jote (SSJ)'s public painting exhibition at Dhaka Art Centre in Dhanmondi.

Forever ablaze in memory

To generate interest in the history of the Liberation War among the post-war generations and to reiterate the call for trial of war criminals, Bangladesh Enterprise for Development and Security Studies have arranged a three-day-long book fair along with a film festival on Liberation War. Starting from March 31, the events are on at the premises of Central Public Library, Shahbagh.

“Praner Khela” at Bengal Gallery

Through musical programmes, albums and other endeavours, Bengal Foundation has been continually working to promote traditional Bangla songs for the last two decades. Music albums produced by Bengal, feature songs of 'Pancho Kobi' (Tagore, Nazrul, DL Roy, Rajanikant and Atulprasad) as well as folk, Lalon and other traditional songs. Besides producing albums the organisation also arranges regular musical programmes throughout the year as well as on special occasions. The monthly musical soiree "Praner Khela" is a part of this initiative.

Featuring Suchitra Sen

Tonight's episode of Banglavision's regular entertainment show "Lal Golap" zooms in on the reclusive legendary actress Suchitra Sen.

Chapainawabganj abuzz with activity

A two-day anti-corruption fair, youth assemblage and cultural festival were held amidst festivity in Chapainawabganj on Monday and Tuesday.Sachetan Nagorik Committee (SNC), a unit of Transparency International (TIB), organised the programme at Horimohon Government High School premises in Chapainawabganj district headquarters. The objective of the programme was to motivate youth to say no to corruption.

Painting competition on Ibrahim Kha’s death anniversary

A painting competition for children was held on March 29 at Bhuapur in Tangail to mark the 32nd death anniversary of Principal Ibrahim Kha, a noted litterateur-educationist-social reformer.

Five-day International children film festival begins

A five-day children's film festival began in Tangail on Thursday.

Aamir Khan: “I am the brand ambassador of India”

Aamir Khan on Wednesday steered clear of the controversy over superstar Amitabh Bachchan endorsing the state of Gujarat, saying he is the brand ambassador of whole of India.

OP-ED

This is your plan?

WHEN I was growing up in Dhaka in the 1980s, power outages were simply a part of life. We took them in our stride as the unavoidable cost of living in a developing country and assumed that as development came that these would become less frequent and eventually a thing of the past. And so it proved.

How much penalty is punishment?

IF you copy from one source it's called plagiarism, but if you copy from many it's called research. Last week, when the prime minister directed the telecom regulators to penalise illegal VOIP companies instead of shutting them down, there was a ring of that dilemma to what she said. It sounded like new bulk rate in dispensation of offense. One can go to jail for pilferage, but not for plunder.

Stateless, hopeless

IN Chittagong lives a very desperate community -- the Rohingya -- a religious and linguistic ethnic minority from Myanmar's northern Rakhine State, who have been fleeing state-sponsored persecution in their homeland since the late seventies. In 1991, when the population experienced widespread repression and abuse from security forces posted in Rakhine, a quarter of a million crossed the border to Bangladesh seeking asylum. Many of them still live here today.

How man can be righteous before God

TODAY is Good Friday. Christians all over the world commemorate the death of Jesus Christ with due solemnity and earnestness this day. The ancient question in the caption for this writing was asked by Job in the Biblical book named Job (Job 9:2). This question only leads us to search for the meaning of the cross of Christ, the cross of Calvary on which Jesus Christ died as ransom for the redemption of mankind from the bondage of sin.

Our dying rivers

RIVERS are the lifeblood of the Bangladesh economy and social life. Its cultural life is also deeply related to rivers. It is extremely unfortunately that its three main rivers, Ganges-Padma, Brahmaputra-Jamuna and Surma-Meghna are dying. We see cultivation of paddy on the bed of Jamuna and mustard and potato on the bed of Meghna.

StarTech

A glimpse into digital life

It was only the second day and importantly a weekday, when the four-day BCS Digital Expo 2010 that started at Dhaka Sheraton on Wednesday, was already busy with a colossal curious crowd.

iPad set for launch tomorrow

The Apple iPad launches in the US on Saturday with an apparent deluge of early online orders indicating that the tablet computers will be another big hit for the company.

YouTube redesigns website

Google-owned YouTube on Wednesday rolled out a major redesign aimed at clearing out visual noise and capturing the attention of viewers at the superstar video-sharing website.

Atom smasher opens 'new era' for science

Scientists at the world's biggest atom smasher on Tuesday started colliding particles at record energy levels, opening a new era in the quest for the universe's deepest secrets.

New ASUS notebook hits market

Global Brand Pvt. Ltd, authorised distributor of ASUS, one of the leading computer hardware and accessories maker in the world, introduced its latest ASUS K40IJ-T4400 notebook in the local market, says a press release.



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