The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, November 21, 2014


News of: Sunday, 11th of April, 2010

Front Page

PM talks option for open pit

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said Barapukuria coal mine might be converted into the country's first open pit mine after completely rehabilitating the local people affected by the on-going underground mining activities.

Plane crash kills Polish president

A plane carrying Polish president Lech Kaczynski and much of the country's military and state elite crashed in thick fog in Russia yesterday killing all 96 people on board in a blazing inferno.

EC's poll plan at stake

The government's foot dragging to amend laws for polls to union parishads and municipalities and reluctance to hold the DCC elections in May is likely to upset the Election Commission's plans for this year's series of elections.

1 killed in clash over pay hike

A clash between agitating garment factory workers and criminals left one dead and at least 10 injured in Kanchpur of Narayanganj early yesterday.

Anti-war trial factors get the better of BNP

BNP leaders remain confused about the party's stance on trial of war criminals after BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia remarked that the government is trying to use the issue against the opposition.

Yet another girl commits suicide

Yet again a 14-year-old girl took her own life on Friday night at Nishchintapur under Sadullapur upazila after a stalker made her life miserable.

No fresh listing of Rohingyas

Bangladesh will not give in to western pressure for recognition to the large number of undocumented Myanmar nationals who entered the country illegally as refugees, said Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes yesterday.

Govt's school bus plan falls flat

Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation's attempt to run special bus services for schoolgoers in the capital hits a snag. The initiative received zero response from school authorities, as opposed by the guardians.

RU provosts protest BCL attack

Provost Council, an association of provosts of 16 Rajshahi University halls, observed work abstention yesterday demanding punishment of the BCL cadres who had attacked university proctor, Shaheed Samsuzzoha hall provost and others Wednesday night.

2 killed in 'crossfire'

Two alleged criminals were killed and two members of Rapid Action Battalion injured in a 'shootout' between the law enforcers and the criminals at Para Gendaria in South Keraniganj early yesterday.

Warm-up for by-poll

Opposition BNP alleged that listed criminals and armed cadres from different parts of the country including Dhaka city have converged on Bhola-3 constituency to snatch the by-election results in favour of the ruling Awami League candidate.

OC closed

Officer-in-charge of Shyamnagar Police Station was closed to the district police lines yesterday amidst protest rallies and human-chains by local Awami League arranged allegedly for police torture on a Juba League leader.

BDR court recording witness account

A court of Bangladesh Rifles yesterday recorded statements of 20 more prosecution witnesses in a mutiny case filed against 51 BDR men of 20 Rifle Battalion here.

Tarail stalker not held yet

Police still could not arrest the alleged stalker and killer Tabarak five days after he had burnt Mariam Akter Pinky, a class X student, to death at her house in Tarail upazila of Kishoreganj.

Long list of unidentified people sued

Police have lodged a case against 100 to 150 unidentified people Friday night in connection with Thursday's tender violence between two factions of the ruling Awami League at Dinajpur Public Works Department (PWD).

BNP factions clash

At least 16 people--Magistrate Uttam Kumar Roy, four police constables and 11 BNP activists--were injured in a factional clash of BNP over holding two separate meetings in the town yesterday afternoon.

IGP warns tender culprits

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Mohammad yesterday said that stern actions would be taken against police officers who would fail to stop tender related violence in their respective areas.

Largest Pakistan Army war games begin

The Pakistan Army yesterday began its largest war games near the Indian border involving some 20,000 soldiers and the air force.

Editorial

Menacing billboards

DESPITE loss of some lives a couple of weeks back from a toppling billboard, a large number of them still remain precariously balanced on rooftops right before the eyes of the administration. Rajuk and the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) have no idea as to how many illegal billboards are installed on Dhaka's rooftops. One estimate says that there are around 4,000 such structures, with 90 percent of them being billboards on rooftops. There is every possibility that some of those billboards will claim more lives as the month of Baishakh is fast approaching with the message of sudden storms and gusty wind.

Maoist insurgency fall-out in India

INDIAN Home Minister P. Chidamabaram's offer of resignation in the face of the massacre of 76 security personnel in an ambush by Maoist guerrillas brings two important points to the fore. The first is of course an image of democracy as it should be working. By offering to quit and by taking full responsibility for the tragedy, Chidambaram has only underscored the vitality along which Indian democracy, warts and all, continues to function. At a time when not many men and women in powerful positions around the world are willing to admit failure or acknowledge responsibility for things that go wrong, Chidambaram's act truly reflects the spirit in which a democratic system of government should work. A fundamental principle of such a system is the readiness of the individual at the top to be fully accountable for everything done in and by his organization. That his resignation has not been accepted is of course another matter.

Sports

Akthar-powered Cyclones take on Rangers

The opening evening of the National Cricket League T20s will see the finalists of the tournament's first-class version take on each other at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today. Rajshahi and Chittagong battled out in the final last month with the Khaled Mashud-led side coming up trumps in a high-scoring draw a month ago.

Come & support us, urge Dynamites

Dhaka Dynamites hope the capital city crowds will give them home advantage when they launch their National Cricket League T20s campaign against Barisal Blazers at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur tomorrow.

Shoaib: A storm rider

It is not known whether Sania Mirza or the now-happily-divorced Ayesha Siddiqui are aware that as a child growing up in the early '80s in the dusty bylanes of Sialkot, Shoaib Malik's sole passion was to fly kites. Perhaps it was here that he realised a kite always rises against and not with the wind.

MSC may sack Emeka

Mohammedan Sporting Club may take a tough verdict on Nigerian midfielder Emeka Christian to release him before the end of the ongoing Bangladesh League.

Gala show to set off T20s

Organisers are set to put up a remarkable display when the National Cricket League T20s open at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium today.

India lift title

India clinched the IHF Handball Challenge (U-21) Trophy defeating arch-rivals Pakistan 39-33 in the final at the Suhrawardi National Indoor Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Untrue info on divorce paper!

Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik, who is set to marry Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza, could land in fresh trouble for furnishing false information while giving divorce to his first wife Ayesha Siddiqui, according to official documents.

WC tickets in demand

Over four hundred football fans have applied to the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) to get the tickets to watch the FIFA World Cup in South Africa to be held in June-July.

Bangalore move to second

Royal Challengers Bangalore were inspired by their bowlers and a delightful half-century from Rahul Dravid in their seven-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders which propelled the hosts to second place in the points table. Bangalore's successful chase combined Dravid's conventional touch with Robin Uthappa's ruthless flourish to seal a morale-boosting victory and leave Kolkata struggling in the bottom three.

Akmal worry for Pakistan

Umar Akmal, the Pakistan batsman, has picked up a side strain during the preparatory camp for the ICC World Twenty20 but is expected to be fit in time for the tournament which starts on April 30.

Deccan stay alive

Deccan Chargers continued to climb up the Indian Premier League points table by beating Chennai Super Kings comprehensively by six wickets yesterday at their "home" venue in Nagpur to draw level with Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders and the losing side.

2 Essex players under scrutiny

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have confirmed that two Essex county cricketers are at the centre of a police investigation, following allegations of "match irregularities".

Comilla ride on Rakibul

A blazing century from Rakibul helped Comilla emerge zonal champions in the 30th Inter-District Cricket Championship with a comprehensive seven-wicket win over Cox's Bazar in the final at the Comilla Stadium yesterday.

Nat'l Athletics from May

The National Athletics Championship will be held in the first week of May at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Ziaur, Niaz in 2nd spot

GM Ziaur Rahman and GM Niaz Murshed along with eight other players shared the second position at the close of the sixth round games of the third Kuala Lumpur Chess Championship in Malaysia yesterday.

Div II Cricket

An explosive century from Johnny guided Retired XI to record a convincing 50-run victory over Juger Alo Samity in the Khan Real Estate Second Division Cricket League at the Shaheed Miraz-Tapan Stadium here yesterday.

Rogers opens tons account

Derbyshire's Australian captain Chris Rogers cracked the first century of the new English county season on Friday with an unbeaten 178 helping his side reach 306 for five over Surrey.

Pompey seek respite

Cash-strapped Portsmouth will look to salvage something from a wretched season when they face former manager Harry Redknapp's Tottenham Hotspur side in Sunday's FA Cup semifinal at Wembley.

No room for error

Manchester United head into Sunday's trip to Blackburn knowing that even a perfect finish to the season will not necessarily be enough to overhaul Chelsea.

C'Ron plays down duel with Messi

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has played down talk of a personal duel between himself and Barcelona's Lionel Messi ahead of Saturday's crucial 'El Clasico' at the Bernabeu.

L'pool chase UCL spot

There will be a European backdrop to Fulham's Premier League visit to Liverpool on Sunday as both sides are just one round away from facing each other in the Europa League final.

Elephants almost there

The number of 2011 African Nations Championship qualifiers will rise to eight Sunday with Ivory Coast set to secure a berth.

Rahmatganj, Chittagong MCS draw

Hosts Rahmatganj MFS held visitors Chittagong Mohammedan Sporting Club to a goalless draw in the Citycell Bangladesh League at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

WC tickets remain unsold

World Cup organisers say 500,000 tickets are unsold and fear "tragic" empty stadiums at football's biggest tournament.

Terry's father charged

The father of Chelsea and former England captain John Terry has been charged with dealing cocaine, police and media said Saturday.

Ronaldo gives up on return

Veteran Brazil striker Ronaldo, the all-time top scorer at World Cup finals with 15 goals, admitted Friday he was not in the frame for a shock return to the national side.

Brazil facing serious WC problems

Brazil's planning for the 2014 World Cup faces "serious problems" if crucial work is not started before May 3, the deadline fixed by FIFA, Brazilian football federation (CBF) president Ricardo Teixeira warned on Friday.

Reina signs new deal

Liverpool's Spanish goalkeeper Jose Reina on Friday signed a new six-year contract with the club and admitted his children were becoming expert in the distinctive, local Scouse accent.

Business

Time running out for 3 NBFIs for listing

Three non-listed financial institutions are likely to miss the deadline to go public within this year, said officials of the companies.

Japan's NSK bearings seek stronger foothold

Japan's NSK Group, a leading bearing maker, yesterday launched its distributorship in Bangladesh to tap into Tk 200 crore-a-month business, by teaming up with Azam Enterprise.

NBR survey spots 1.78 lakh new taxpayers

A survey has spotted 1.78 lakh new taxpayers, mostly businesspeople and professionals, in six metropolitan cities.

Buy-out saves Reader's Digest UK

A management buy-out backed by an investment company has saved the British division of Reader's Digest from administration, the deal's organisers said Friday.

Danish team to explore scope for investment

The representatives from 10 Danish energy and waste management companies, now in Dhaka on a five-day visit, are exploring every possible way to find their Bangladesh partners for investments in conventional and renewable energy sectors.

RMG workers demand Tk 5,000 minimum wage

Garment workers yesterday demanded at least Tk 5,000 as minimum wage to help them cope with what they said the recent price hike of essentials, and get a better life standard.

Seminar stresses improvement in farmers' condition

The condition of farmers has not ameliorated despite advancement in Bangladesh farming, analysts have said.

5 lakh likely to migrate for jobs this year

The government expects to send five lakh Bangladeshi workers abroad with employment this year with a target of exceeding the 11 billion US dollar mark of remittance.

Greece gets EU-IMF help in its dark hour

The European Union told Greece it stands ready with a debt lifeline in its hour of need on Friday amid a market conviction that a crescendo is near.

Banglabandha land port to have full-fledged operations

The government will take necessary measures to turn Banglabandha land port, the country's extreme northern gateway, into a full-fledged land port.

Citi plans retail banking

Citibank NA plans to go for limited-scale retail banking in Bangladesh this year, says a senior official of the global banking giant.

Desperate Icelanders opt for exile

Anna Margret Bjoernsdottir never thought she would be forced to leave her once wealthy homeland, but after 18 months of economic upheaval she has decided to join the biggest emigration wave from Iceland in more than a century.

Dow's up but trades are scarce

Think Dow 11,000 is a big deal? Think again.

Eurogroup ministers to discuss Greece

Eurozone finance ministers are to discuss Greece's debt crisis on Sunday, a Spanish government official said Saturday, after Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos expressed hoped of a solution.

BEA conference comes to a close

The 17th biennial conference of Bangladesh Economic Association (BEA) ended yesterday.

India kicks off billion-dollar 3G auction

India's mobile phone firms began bidding Friday to provide superfast third-generation (3G) services in the booming cellular market -- a sale expected to reap the government billions of dollars.

China says trade deficit proves yuan not to blame

China said Saturday its first trade deficit in six years proved the nation's exchange rate did not play a decisive role in global economic imbalances amid pressure to allow the yuan to appreciate.

India's Reliance buys $1.7b stake in US gas field

India's energy giant Reliance Industries said Friday it had signed a joint venture with Atlas Energy for a 1.7 billion dollar stake in a US-based natural gas field.

Obama showcases advantages of stimulus tax benefits

US President Barack Obama on Saturday stressed the importance of tax benefits offered by his 787-billion-dollar economic stimulus plan that was enacted last year in the hope of boosting the US economy.

Weekly Currency Roundup

April 4 - April 8, 2010
International Markets:
This week the euro continued to be pressured the fallout from Greece , and speculation about possible renminbi revaluation provided relied to the Japanese Yen.

Metropolitan

No room for tender manipulators in BCL

AL General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday said there is no room for tender manipulators or vandals in Bangladesh Chhatra League or Jubo League.

Nat'l Film Policy on cards:PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday stressed the need for a specific plan for the film industry to face and compete with the present open sky culture.

AL men force complainant to drop 6 names from case

Local Awami League leaders forced the complainant to drop names of six accused from the First Information Report (FIR) on Friday's arson attack at Kamrangirchar in the city, although they played a key role in setting fire to at least 25 business establishments.

Malpractice on in name of physiotherapy treatment

Malpractice has been going on in the name of providing physiotherapy treatment to the patients as the country lacks trained physiotherapists, speakers said at a seminar yesterday.

Call to strengthen probe agency

Expressing doubts about the success of the war crimes investigation agency, Forum for Secular Bangladesh (FSB) yesterday called on the government to strengthen it by inducting more competent and honest persons.

White paper on Logang killings demanded

Leaders of different of organisations of indigenous people in a statement yesterday demanded of the government to publish white paper on the all killings, including Logang killings, in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

3 int'l airports still under high security

Three international airports still remain under high level of security as Biman Bangladesh Airlines authority thinks that threat of terrorist attack still exists.

Govt violating constitution

The Awami League government has been violating the constitution by signing agreements with other countries, BNP leader Moudud Ahmed said yesterday.

School students visit int'l crimes tribunal

Around 150 students of 19 schools of Kishoreganj yesterday visited the international crimes tribunal in the Old High Court Building in the city for holding trial of 1971 war criminals.

HC hearing on Khaleda's petition today

The High Court (HC) is scheduled to hold today hearing on the writ petition filed by BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging a government notice that asked her to vacate the cantonment house.

Police foil protest

Police yesterday obstructed locals from forming a human chain protesting the misbehaviour of Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury with a female ward councillor.

BCL calls off movement at Ctg Veterinary University

Bangladesh Chhatra League of Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University yesterday called off its movement on the campus following an assurance from Prime Minister's Education Advisor Prof Alauddin Ahmed.

Diarrhoea patients on rise

Diarrhoea situation in the capital remains the same, as a total of 1,003 patients rushed to the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B) on Friday for treatment.

'Ban Jamaat politics'

Speakers at a function yesterday urged the government to immediately ban the politics of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami and their front organisations in order to restore the constitution of 1972 for establishing the spirit of War of Liberation.

Int'l symposium on environment begins

An International Symposium on Environmental Degradation and Sustainable Development (ISEDSD) 2010 began at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) yesterday.

National

Cashing in on farmers' woes

While boro farmers in most areas under Teesta Irrigation Project are crying for water due to scanty flow in Teesta River, a section of canal lessees are compelling farmers in the upstream to pay much higher than the official rate as service charge for irrigation.

Land subsidence victims attack survey team

A member of a land survey team was injured as the land subsidence victims around Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Ltd (BMCL) attacked the team at Kalupara village yesterday morning.

Shops keep shutters down for 3 hours

About 200 shops in the city's Halishahar area remained closed for three hours yesterday in protest against attack on a local banik samity (traders' association) leader by a gang of criminals on Friday night.

Khulna power plant out of order again

The 60 megawatt plant of Khulna Power Station (KPS), which resumed power generation after four years on April 6, again went out of order at 10:30pm on Friday due to major technical faults.

Offenders go unpunished

Rajshahi City Corporation (RCC) has started the construction work of Fire Brigade-Nawdapara road without taking punitive measure against those involved in the irregularities that increased the project implementation cost by Tk 22.24 crore.

Wife killed Belal, cut body into pieces, say police

Sufia Begum confessed to killing her husband Ahsanul Huq Belal, a trader of Mahiganj area of Rangpur town, by giving him poisonous fruit juice on Sunday night.

'Allocate adequate fund in next budget for uplift of SW region'

Greater Khulna Development Action Coordination Committee (GKDACC) yesterday formed a human chain in the city demanding allocation of adequate fund in the next national budget for implementation of different development projects of the south-western (S-W) region.

3 housewives killed in Nabinagar of B'baria

Three housewives were killed in three separate incidents at Zafarpur, Kazalia and Nasirabad villages of Nabinagar upazila of the district on Friday night.

Students tell the tale of 'tuition-hungry' teachers

Another student of Rangpur Collectorate School and College could not appear in the ongoing HSC examinations as college authorities did not give him admit card before the examinations.

Villagers clash for control of new land mass: 20 hurt

At least 20 people including four policemen were injured during a fierce clash between people of two villages over taking control of a newly emerged land mass at Charvatera village in Daudkandi upazila on Friday noon.

Criminals demolish shaheed minar

Criminals have destroyed the newly constructed shaheed minar at Naopara Government Primary School under Lalpur upazila in the district.

College student, grandmother electrocuted

An Honours student of Chandpur Government College and his grandmother were electrocuted in Amin Road area in Hajiganj municipality of the district yesterday.

Three outlaws arrested

Rab members in a drive at Rajarhat under Sadar upazila yesterday morning arrested a 'regional commander' of outlawed Purba Banglar Sarbahara Party and his two accomplices.

Patients protest stale food supply

At least 100 patients of Thakurgaon Sadar Hospital abstained from taking food on Friday protesting the supply of stale and stinking food by the hospital authorities. The patients complained that everyday they are given substandard diet which is not worthy of eating. They alleged that they could not even take the breakfast as the bread smelt bad. Nazrul Islam, a patient, said despite repeated complaints the authorities did not take any measure to ensure supply of standard diet. Acting Civil Surgeon Abu Md Khairul Kabir said the contractor concerned will be showcaused and the contract will be cancelled, if necessary, to improve the situation.

Two Shibir men held

Police arrested two Shibir activists from Truck Road area in Chandpur town yesterday. The arrestees were identified as Mosaddek Al Hakim, 30, son of Maulana Shamsuddin of Raipur upazila of Laxmipur and Zakir Hossain, 32, son of Hafez Md Bashir Ullah of Chandpur Sadar upazila. Sub-inspector of Chandpur Sadar Model Police Station Abdur Rab said a group of Jamaat-Shibir activists brought out a rally in the town in the morning demanding release of their fellows arrested from different parts of the country. Police arrested the two fearing deterioration of law and order situation in the district, he said. The arrestees were sent to jail.

Housewife murdered

A woman was slaughtered allegedly by her husband at Beoline village in Barura upazila on Friday night. Housewife Manju Begum, 22, was wife of Shamsuddin of the village. Police quoting locals said, Shamsuddin who used to live in his in-law's house killed Manju on Friday night. As the couple did not come out of their room in the morning, family members broke open the door and found Manju's slaughtered body lying on the floor while Shamsuddin hurriedly fled the scene. On information, police recovered the body and sent it to Sadar hospital morgue for autopsy.

Houses, shops gutted

At least nine houses and four shops were gutted in separate fire incidents in the district yesterday. Fire brigade sources said a fire that originated from the kitchen of Ambia Begum at Dhalat village in Sadar upazila burnt down three adjacent houses at noon. In Lalpur upazila, five houses were damaged in a fire at Walia East Shahapara village. Locals said the fire originated from the kitchen of Shaker Ali of the village at about 12:30pm and soon engulfed four other adjoining houses. Besides, four shops were gutted as a fire broke out at Walia Bazar in Lalpur upazila early yesterday.

Extortionists beat up trader

Extortionists beat up a goldsmith in the Kalibazar area of the city on Friday night. Protesting the incident, the goldsmiths yesterday kept their shutters down for an hour and brought out procession demanding arrest and punishment to the criminals. Sources said, the gang was threatening Biplob, one of the owners of Baishakhi Jewellers, demanding illegal toll the last couple of days. On Friday night, about 10-12 criminals led by Indra Ghosh beat up Biplob for refusing to pay the money. Topon Chandra Das, elder brother of Biplob filed a case against Indra Ghosh. He said the criminals led by Indra beat up Biplob for illegal toll.

Victim of land dispute

A man was chopped to death at Rasiqpur village in Mujibnagar upazila in Meherpur on Thursday over a piece of disputed land. Victim Karibul Islam, 30, was son of Khoka Seikh of the village. According to police, Karibul's relative Surus of the same village had conflict over a piece of land with one Abdul Kuddus who occupied the land for long. Karibul with some of his followers went to retake the land at about 12:00pm. Sensing the matter, Kuddus with his men rushed to the spot and chased Karibul. Karibul took shelter at his house but men belonging to Kuddus dragged Karibul out his house and chopped him on the spot. Severely injured Karibul was taken to Meherpur General Hospital where he succumbed at about 3:30am.

Two arms peddlers jailed

A Chapainawabganj court sentenced two persons to 10 years rigorous imprisonment (RI) under Arms Act on Thursday. The convicts are Enamul Haque, 36, son of Abul Kalam of Chouhodditola Moholla and Rabiul Islam, 22, son of Mohammad Alauddin of Mohadanga-Pulpara in the town. Additional District and Sessions Judge of Chapainawabganj Arup Kumar Goswami pronounced the verdict. According to the prosecution, a team of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab-5) raided Enamul's house at Chouhodditola on July 22 in 2006 and recovered one rifle and one shutter gun. Rab arrested Enamul and Rabiul. Rab handed over them to Sadar police station and filed a case against them under Arms Act.

Letters

Solar energy

Bangladesh can solve the problem of electricity by cost effective solar energy projects. The govt has to give loan or subsidy to the consumers both in urban and rural areas. It may be the best solution for both long and short terms. We have seen that happening in a rich country like Australia. The govt should think it seriously.

Trial of war criminals

The whole nation celebrated the 39th anniversary of independence of Bangladesh with festivity remembering the supreme sacrifice of the valiant sons of this soil who laid down their lives to snatch away the red sun of freedom fighting against the Pakistani occupation army and their collaborators. They fought under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation.

Our zoo

A few days ago, I went to the national zoo. The condition of the animals shocked me very much.

The city we live in

Dhaka, the core city of Bangladesh, is becoming simply unliveable! Its gigantic pulling power is the main reason behind such an intolerable situation. Decentralization is an urgent need of the hour. But how? Thousands of people are coming to this city every day, thousands of causes are there! Employment, education, treatment, amusement..! A major portion of them are environmental refugees affected by river erosion, cyclones, floods! Other cities are unable to fulfil their demands.

Ban on air conditioners

This issue was reported in all dailies on March 31. However, it raises an interesting fundamental question. Who and how will the ban be manned for enforcement? Without strict and effective follow-up on compliance and enforcement, the measure is bound to fail!

Going backwards?

It may sound weird, but it is a reality. It takes almost 2 hours to travel from Kalabagan to Banani and vice verse on all days except on holidays by a motorized vehicle. In the sixties we could go to Banani within half an hour on a rickshaw from Kalabagan and within 10 to 15 minutes by a car.

Salary hike

I refer to the article entitled 'Salary Hike for the High-ups' published in the editorial page of your daily of March 10, 2010. While I agree in principle with Mr Latif Mondol about the unjustified hike in salaries and privileges of persons holding public offices, I differ with his comment that a large number of the current MPs are otherwise very rich. MPs are not supposed to receive salaries like public servants. They can at best claim some compensation for the time they devote to betterment of their respective constituencies. I know about some of the MPs who did not have legal earnings of more than Taka 10,000.00 a month before they became MPs. Compensation amounting to approximately Taka 100,000.00 a month including proposed salary, benefits of housing, transport, telephone, attendance of sessions, medical, insurance, travelling etc cannot be justified. Nobody will be able to monitor how much of the discretionary allowance of Taka 300,000.00 will be spent for the constituents.

Quite unexpected!

The news entitled "10 minutes shock at JS" published in The Daily Star (04th March 2010) is not only shocking for the people of the country but also it has thrown the nation into deep, dark shadows of shame. Lawmakers of both the ruling party and the opposition rushed towards each other gesturing aggressively. They exchanged extremely indecent and vulgar words on the floor, most of which are 'unprintable'. We are really astounded at such 'unparliamentary' behaviour of our parliament members. The national assembly is not a place for cock-fight and emitting filthy jargons and to create a mayhem-like ambience, rather it is a place for taking and making decisions and plans to run the country and to build up the nation. Obviously, JS is supposed to play a representative role and it is likely to reflect the dreams and hopes of the nation. But what happened during the parliamentary sessions seriously hurt the image of the nation.

Let Zia rest in peace

People say, or the saying goes, 'Don't speak ill of the dead'. But it is our ill luck that our MPs get themselves locked in debates over the two dead leaders calling them 'murderers' and that too in the sacred House of the Nation defying the ethical convention to be observed there and skipping over the burning issues of the nation that are pushing us behind in almost every sector. It I was too bad for an AL lawmaker to raise the issue of late President Ziaur Rahman that it was not his corpse that was buried in the Chandrima or Zia Uddayn and he reiterated his claim. His claim and insistence on that is simply unscrupulous and a futile attempt that brewed up trouble in the House leading to the opposition's walk-outs. He should have reckoned with the sentiment of a greater majority of the people who heartily love and respect Zia, and that the people have been visiting the place and praying for him since he was killed and buried there in 1981. You cannot destroy the people's belief and detract them from what is deeply entrenched in them and from the established fact.

Biotechnology

Biotechnology, as the word suggests, is the "fusion of biology and technology" using biological techniques for product research and development. The question is: is biotechnology a friend or foe of the environment? While there are no doubts that biotechnology has some downsides, I feel that biotechnology is definitely a friend of the environment. Biotechnology is largely involved in energy production. We all know that the demand of energy in the modern world is increasing drastically. Biotechnology may be a good source. Biotechnology, in Phytoremediation, can be used to clean up the environment. One example is the use of microbes to clean up wastewater. Besides, it has a great role in reducing pesticides use. Naturally, some pesticides are recalcitrant in nature and not easily digestible. Biotechnology can help the environment considerably in an effective way. Another important task of it is to produce maximum yield with limited land resource and thus conserve biodiversity. These techniques are environmentally safe.

Energy security

Bangladesh is passing through a crucial time with its energy crisis. The energy security is threatened here. With power gas and water crisis people are suffering most. Load shedding is very much regular. In 24 hours of time, electricity/power is available for 7-9 hours and it also varies from place to place. The newspapers have published detailed reports on load shedding. This Energy security has obstructed our agriculture and industrial production. On 30 March, a newspaper reported that due to the energy crisis our industrial production has declined by 30 percent. It has also reduced national investment.

A soliloquy

Don't ask me to eradicate corruption because without it we will see a surge of the good who will ultimately drive us away from the scene. Don't you know it is the Chhatra League that helped us do anarchy all over the country prior to our coming to power and don't you know the police will support our marauding activists as long as we let them to be steeped in corruption? Before pointing finger to us do some soul searching and discover how deluded you were in electing us to power again and again, knowing full well that we were always for one party rule and that famine followed our misrule.

Islamic law of inheritance

Nowadays a burning question is why under Islamic law women's share of the inherited wealth is only half that of a man. And various initiatives are being taken to enact a law that will ensure women's equal rights to their parents' property. But we should understand logically the reasons behind the Islamic law. A brief explanation is given below in this regard.

Higher tax on tobacco

We all know what the benefits of smoking are. But the smokers will never listen to any advice. They will just carry on their bad habit causing health hazards not only to themselves but also to us (non smokers). Let them do it.

International

Obama assures Karzai of support in letter

The United States and Afghanistan yesterday sought to draw a line under a recent diplomatic row, downplaying talk of a damaging rift and stressing their commitment to work together.

Pak troops kill 48 militants in NW

At least 48 militants were killed in a gunfight and an air strike in Pakistan's north-western tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, officials said yesterday.

India asks to focus on nuke terrorism

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh left for the United States yesterday to attend a two-day security summit, saying he hoped the event would focus on issues such as "nuclear terrorism."

Rajapakse vows peace after winning polls

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse, whose party cemented his political dominance by winning a majority in parliamentary elections, promised yesterday to bring peace and prosperity to a nation battered by decades of civil war.

Thai military calls for truce with Red Shirts

At least six people have been killed and almost 500 injured after violent clashes in Bangkok between security forces and anti-government protesters, emergency services said yesterday.

Climate change treaty 'more urgent than ever'

The need for a new global climate deal is "greater than ever", according to developing country delegates speaking at the opening of UN climate talks.

Kyrgyzstan holds funeral ceremonies

Funeral ceremonies are being held in Kyrgyzstan for some of the at least 78 people killed during a violent uprising that ousted the president.

Conservative rebels launch new party in Japan

Japan's former finance minister Kaoru Yosano and four other political veterans yesterday launched a new party ahead of July polls as their conservative opposition camp struggles to regain power.

Filipinos start diaspora voting

More than half a million Filipinos living overseas, who help pump billions of dollars into the Philippines' economy, yesterday began voting for a new president.

National mourning declared in Poland

Poland's acting head of state declared a week of mourning after the crash yesterday in Russia of a Polish government plane which killed president Lech Kaczynski and scores of other officials.

No meeting scheduled with Manmohan: Gilani

Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said yesterday that no meeting had been scheduled with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the Nuclear Safety Summit in Washington.

Arts & Entertainment

Theatre Art Unit’s new offering “Magaj Shamachar”

Noted troupe Theatre Art Unit brings a new production to the stage. Titled "Magaj Shamachar", the premiere of the play was held at the Studio Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on April 9. Saif Sumon was the director of the play.

Meril Prothom Alo Awards

Serpentine queues formed outside the Hall of Fame of Bangabandhu International Conference Centre on April 9 where the Meril-Prothom Awards 2009 was to be declared.

“Tumi Amar Chiro Kaaler”: A tribute to Tagore

The launching ceremony of “Tumi Amar Chiro Kaaler”, an album of Tagore songs, was held at the main auditorium of the National Museum on April 9. Recorded by the Tagore artiste couple Sajed Akbar and Salma Akbar, the album contains 10 Tagore tracks.

Breaking the boundaries

Award-winning actor-director Aparna Sen is no novice to exploring the man-woman relationship in her films. However, she sees her latest directorial offering, “The Japanese Wife”, as a “unique” love story that cuts across cultural and geographical physical boundaries.

Bijhu festival begins

The indigenous people in Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) have begun the joyous celebrations of 'Bijhu Utsab' with a variety of programmes.

Tanvir Mokammel’s films to be screened on Pahela Baishakh

On the occasion of Pahela Baishakh, Kino Eye Films will organise screening of some of Tanvir Mokammel's acclaimed films. The screening will take place at the Shawkat Osman Auditorium, Central Public Library, Shahbagh on April 14, according to a press release.

Aishwarya urges mom-in-law to join Twitter

The whole Bachchan family is associated with some or the other social networking site except Jaya Bachchan. Hence daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai has taken upon herself to convince her mom-in-law to join the micro-blogging site Twitter.

"Jodio Galpo" staged

As part of ongoing Syed Badruddin Hossain Memorial Theatre Festival, Indian troupe Theatre Workshop staged its production "Jodio Galpo" on April 9. Organised by Padatik Natya Sangsad (TSC), the play was staged at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Written by Sudipto Bhoumik, the play was directed by Ashok Mukhopadhyay. The director along with Krishnagati Chattopadhyay played the central characters in the play that depicts a young Indian entrepreneur's sudden crisis in New York.

OP-ED

Testing the limits of tolerance

THE current electricity, water and gas crises, coupled with high prices of daily consumption goods for the middle and the poor classes, and compounded with low prices received by agricultural product growers, have put the present government on the defensive.

A flicker of hope in Palestine

EMPOWERED by his recent success in reforming the US healthcare system and in reaching an arms control treaty with Russia, President Barack Hussein Obama has finally told Israel "enough is enough." What is interesting is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the great defender of the concept of Greater Israel, unwittingly provided him with the opportunity to do so.

Education for all?

BANGLADESH has made impressive progress towards achieving primary education for all over the last two decades. Yet, development of primary education poses a daunting challenge because of inaccessibility and resource constraint.

Senapati's route to heroism

P. Chidambaram first tried out the resignation route to heroism when he was in P.V. Narasimha Rao's Cabinet. Rao, a bit like his protégé Dr Manmohan Singh, was a Prime Minister wrought by fate; he had, in fact, retired because of a heart condition and sent his impressive library to Hyderabad, where he intended to spend his time. He did not contest the elections for the 1991 Parliament that made him prime minister. The younger Congress leaders, consequently, tended to underestimate him. Rao surprised the political class, and shocked the victim, by accepting Chidambaram's resignation. The scar never quite healed; Chidambaram eventually started his own party, and was brought back into the Congress mainstream only by Mrs Sonia Gandhi.

Elevator Etiquette

EVERY year at about this time, city dwellers should show their gratitude to the man who gave us our skylines. You see, it was on March 23, 1857, that Elisha Graves Otis launched the first commercial elevator, making tall buildings possible. But in doing so, he introduced a transport conundrum that adds stress to the lives of billions of apartment block dwellers every day. If you live or work in a building with more than three storeys, you know what I mean.



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