The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, November 28, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 14th of April, 2010

Front Page

Decade-old hills admin at stake

The existence of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Regional Council for over a decade is under threat as the High Court yesterday declared the CHT Regional Council Act 1998 illegal and unconstitutional.

E-voting in DCC polls

The Election Commission has promulgated rules for introduction of electronic voting system in the upcoming polls to Dhaka City Corporation on a limited scale to begin a process for making election management up-to-date.

Trial trapped in legal tangle

Nine years have elapsed since the bomb blast at a Bangla New Year celebration at Ramna Batamul in the city that left 10 people dead and scores injured, but the trials of the two cases filed in this connection are yet to be completed.

Future of energy lies in coal

A high profile international conference yesterday recommended open-pit coal mining for Bangladesh, and urged the government to ease up the bidding and purchasing mechanism in the power sector to encourage private investment.

Hopes not over yet

Members of civil society yesterday said High Court's judgment declaring the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Regional Council Act 1998 unconstitutional and illegal would not affect implementation of the CHT peace treaty.

Pahela Baishakh today

The nation welcomes today the Bangla New Year 1417 in a traditional manner amid a colourful festivity.

BCL leader shot dead in city

Criminals yesterday gunned down a Bangladesh Chhatra League leader at Shekhertek in the capital in brought daylight.

Women's role in war to be documented

A parliamentary sub-committee was formed yesterday to collect information and write a complete history of women's contribution to the Liberation War.

Border markets miss schedule

Border markets between Bangladesh and India will not start today as the Indian side is taking too much time to set the modus operandi in this regard, commerce ministry officials say.

War trial not to be 'motivated'

A cross-section of eminent personalities including legal experts yesterday suggested swift adjudication of the war crimes trial, while noting that the criminals must not be able to dodge justice, and the people must not get the impression that the trial is motivated by partisan politics.

8 proposals to cut down risks

The Department of Environment (DoE), Chittagong has recommended that ships be cleaned before bringing those for dismantling to avert accidents, which very often cause human casualties in the ship-breaking yards.

Fire again at Garib and Garib factory

Another fire broke out at Garib and Garib Sweater Factory at Bhogra in Gazipur sadar upazila yesterday just one and a half months after a devastating blaze left 21 workers burnt to death and many others injured.

Jamaat on Pak side

Chittagong city unit Jamaat-e-Islami leaders yesterday said Jamaat was in the Pakistan's side during the liberation war of Bangladesh and they don't accept the issue of trying war criminals.

Khaleda's writ petition won't be sent to CJ

A High Court bench yesterday rejected a petition filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for sending to the Chief Justice her earlier writ petition challenging a government notice that asked her to leave the cantonment house.

Barge-mounted power plant case against Hasina quashed

The High Court (HC) in a verdict yesterday quashed the proceedings against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the barge-mounted power plant corruption case filed by the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) during the last caretaker government.

15,000 incidents of post-poll violence took place in 2001

Nearly 15,000 incidents of repression and violence took place during the regime of BNP-Jamaat led government after 2001 general elections.

Atmosphere not conducive in Bhola-3

The main opposition BNP yesterday at a meeting with the Election Commission alleged that the atmosphere in Bhola-3 parliamentary constituency is not yet conducive to holding a fair election.

2,000 Jamaat, Shibir men sued in Ctg

Police filed a case accusing 1,500 to 2,000 leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir for attack on police at city's Anderkilla Intersection on Monday.

Holiday

The offices of The Daily Star will remain closed today on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh, the first day of Bangla New Year. Therefore, there will be no issue of the newspaper tomorrow.

Editorial

Upazila chairmen's desperate call for empowerment

AFTER subjecting elected upazila parishads to a roller-coaster ride virtually turning these powerless, thanks to MPs' extending control over them and the UNOs' defiant streak, the prime minister now announces that her government will delineate responsibilities of MPs, upazila chairmen and UNOs. For months together, there have been amendments to laws through cabinet discussions and parliamentary proceedings and issuance of circulars and different notifications apart from public positionings whereby the powers and functions of the upazila chairmen and vice-chairmen where effectively curtailed. It involved grant of mandatory advisory role to the MPs over the upazilas.

Shubho Nabo Barsha!

THE advent of Pahela Baishakh is yet again a time for celebration, for a renewal of the national spirit as it were. It is so because it is a reminder of the heritage that Bengalis are as a people heir to in this part of the world. It is doubly reassuring to know that Baishakh comes at a time when other people in South Asia as well as in the region just outside it also happen to be welcoming or preparing to welcome their own new year. In other words, when we observe the arrival of the Bangla shaal on the first day of Baishakh, we are in a way identifying with others across a wide swathe of geography of which, naturally, we are an important component.

Sports

Kings, Blazers ride high

It was all about one-sided affairs in the Destiny Group National Cricket League T20s at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday as Kings of Khulna and Barisal Blazers posted easy wins against their respective rivals.

Rafique conquers Sultans

Even at the wrong side of 40, Mohammad Rafique is turning in one good performance after another in the local scene. His latest exploit took out the Sultans of Sylhet yesterday in the Destiny Group National Cricket League T20s. Rafique claimed four important wickets to drive the Dhaka Dynamites to a 40-run victory at the BKSP in Savar.

Emily goes goal-crazy

Striker Zahid Hasan Emily struck a mind boggling five goals in a match to power Mohammedan Sporting Club to an emphatic 7-0 win over Arambagh KS in their Bangladesh League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Usha depose Abahani

Usha Krira Chakra staged a fabulous fightback to knock out defending champions Abahani through a 5-2 drubbing in the second semifinal of the Dhaka Bank Club Cup Hockey at the Maulana Bhashani Hockey Stadium yesterday. Usha will meet Mohammedan Sporting Club, who thrashed Sonali Bank 8-1 on the first semifinal, in the final on April 16.

Ansar cruise, Abahani just make it

Abahani came up trumps in the battle of bowlers when they defeated Azad Sporting Club by eight runs in the Women's Club Cup cricket tournament at the Gulshan Youth ground yesterday.

Barca coaches due in May

Barcelona's coaching staffs of the youth wing are scheduled to come to Bangladesh to conduct a three-day seminar for the local coaches as well as the budding booters this May.

Flintoff not yet fit

Andrew Flintoff admits he still does not know when he will make his long-awaited comeback from knee surgery.

MSC resolve row with African trio

Nigerian trio Alamu Bukola, Dami Emmanuel and Emeka Christian returned to the Mohammedan Sporting Club fold after being promised clearance of their wages within the next two weeks.

Serena to return in May

Serena Williams will make her injury comeback at the Rome International in May, the organisers said on Tuesday.

Pollard powers Mumbai

Kieron Pollard finally lived up to his bumper signing with a brutal innings that undermined what, for the most part, had been a spirited performance from Delhi Daredevils bowlers, and confirmed Mumbai Indians' place in the final four of the Indian Premier League yesterday.

Pak cause for concern

Pakistan face an anxious wait to know whether Twenty20 expert Umar Gul will be fit for the World Twenty20 as the team manager expressed hope Tuesday that the fast bowler can play.

Afridi claims innocence

Shahid Afridi has filed an official appeal against the 3 million rupees fine imposed on him by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for tampering with the ball in an ODI against Australia in Perth this January. Afridi becomes the fourth player of the seven who were punished by the board following the tour to Australia to lodge an appeal.

Rogers leads Derbyshire to historic win

Australian Chris Rogers's stunning two innings total of 360 runs inspired Derbyshire to their first victory over Surrey at The Oval since England's footballers won the World Cup in 1966 on Monday.

Smith given go ahead

Graeme Smith, South Africa's captain, has been cleared to resume training for the ICC World Twenty20 after recovering from the finger injury that forced him to return home mid-way through the ongoing Indian Premier League.

Cilic passes clay test

Croatian fourth seed Marin Cilic passed a stern clay test against Russian Igor Andreev, 6-7, 6-1, 6-4, on Tuesday to kick-start his season on the surface with a second-round victory.

KKR on the brink

Chennai Super Kings batsman Suresh Raina blasted unbeaten 78 in half the number of balls to all but end Kolkata Knight Riders' interests in the current IPL season while keeping his team very much on the chase for a semifinal place. Riding on the 78 from Raina and an unbeaten 50 from Murali Vijay, Chennai raced past Kolkata's modest total of 139 with nine wickets in hand and 39 balls to spare. The only wicket to fall was that of Mathew Hayden for nought in the first over. Raina's 78 consisted three sixes and 11 boundaries while Vijay's fifty had two sixes and four fours in it.

A season-defining tie

Any meeting between Tottenham and Arsenal carries an extra edge but Wednesday's latest edition of the north London derby has become a season-defining fixture for both sides.

Barca aim to consolidate

After outclassing Arsenal and Real Madrid in the space of five days treble winners Barcelona are on for a league and Champions League double and aim to build on their three-point lead over Real at the top of La Liga when they host Deportivo La Coruna on Wednesday.

Adebayor quits Togo

Manchester City and Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor retired from international football on Monday, saying he was "still haunted" by the attack on his country's team bus at the African Nations Cup.

Tevez unhappy with training

Manchester City's Argentina striker Carlos Tevez on Tuesday questioned manager Roberto Mancini's tough training regime.

Domenech warns of shooting players

France coach Raymond Domenech has warned that he would "shoot" any players unable to put aside their egos for the sake of the French team at the World Cup.

Iniesta out for a month

Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta is likely to miss most of Barcelona's season after sustaining a hamstring injury in training that is set to keep him sidelined for a month.

Prosecutor to call Ancelotti

The public prosecutor in Naples on Tuesday postponed proceedings in the match-fixing case against former Juventus supremo Luciano Moggi for a week when Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti should be called as a witness, the Ansa news agency reported.

L'pool wait on Torres report

Liverpool will have to wait until later in the week to discover the full extent of Fernando Torres's knee injury after the Spain striker was examined by a specialist.

Giovinco's season over

Juventus's hopes of clinching fourth place in Serie A and Champions League football next season were dealt yet another blow on Tuesday as attacking midfielder Sebastian Giovinco was ruled out for the rest of the season.

Business

Lengthy process sets back power projects

The government should bring all the energy projects under a single committee to accelerate implementation, said experts yesterday.

ADB sees economy rebound in 2010-11

Asian Development Bank (ADB) has predicted that Bangladesh economy will register 6.3 percent growth in fiscal 2010-11, buoyed by recovery in global demand.

Remitting by mobile comes on stream

Sending money home has become easier and faster as two banks and a mobile operator yesterday launched a cellphone-based remittance transfer system.

Govt plans 12pc yearly hike in power price up to 2013

The government plans a 12 percent hike in electricity price a year till 2013, said Abul Kalam Azad, secretary, Power Division of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources.

BBF launches brand management programme

Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) yesterday launched a postgraduate programme on brand management, aiming to improve the branding quality in the country.

Indian govt backs Lafarge on mining

The Indian government said yesterday it concurred with the views of Attorney General GE Vahanvati that cement giant Lafarge should be allowed to resume mining in the forests of Meghalaya for its Bangladesh plant.

Muhith sees far-reaching impacts of energy crisis

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday the energy crisis is critical and has far-reaching impacts.

Dialogue stresses removal of tariff barriers to narrow Dhaka-Delhi trade gap

Investors at a discussion here have emphasised removal of the existing trade barriers to expand business and reduce the trade gap between Bangladesh and India.

Minister underlines integration of available resources to develop power infrastructure

Outlining the government's plan for developing the country's rickety power infrastructure, State Minister for Power Enamul Haque yesterday underscored the need for addressing the problem holistically by integrating the available resources.

JS body suggests duty waiver for shipbuilders

The parliamentary standing committee on the finance ministry yesterday asked the government to waive import duties on equipment for making ships and dredgers to encourage the emerging industries.

StanChart launches financial kiosk

Standard Chartered Bank yesterday launched its first financial kiosk at Khilgaon in Dhaka, the bank said in a statement.

Denmark promises to step up support to energy

Denmark assured Bangladesh of providing more assistance in power, energy, shipbuilding and trade and business sectors for the socioeconomic development.

Pahela Baishakh cheers up sales

Abdur Rahim Sheikh, a fish vendor at Karwan Bazar, sold nearly 800 hilsa fish in the last six days. On the eve of Pahela Baishakh, he was optimistic about sales.

ADB sees 'robust recovery' for Asia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday Asia's developing economies this year would grow 7.5 percent, with the region on track for a "robust recovery."

Pahela Baishakh cheers up sales

Abdur Rahim Sheikh, a fish vendor at Karwan Bazar, sold nearly 800 hilsa fish in the last six days. On the eve of Pahela Baishakh, he was optimistic about sales.

ADB sees 'robust recovery' for Asia

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday Asia's developing economies this year would grow 7.5 percent, with the region on track for a "robust recovery."

CORPORATE BRIEFS

FEDERAL INSURANCE
The insurer's Board of Directors recommended 12 percent stock dividend for 2009. The company's annual general meeting will be held on June 17 (at 11:30am) at BIAM Auditorium in Dhaka. The record date is April 28. The company has reported earnings per share of Tk 12.95, net asset value per share of Tk 154.60 and net operating cash flow per share of Tk 34.02 as of December 31, 2009.

Oil falls

Oil prices fell on Tuesday as the International Energy Agency warned about potential risks to economic recovery posed by high energy costs.

Oil falls

Oil prices fell on Tuesday as the International Energy Agency warned about potential risks to economic recovery posed by high energy costs.

India's Infosys quarterly profit dips but forecasts upturn

Indian outsourcing giant Infosys Technologies reported Tuesday quarterly net profit slipped, but forecast better times ahead despite a rising rupee that could eat into earnings.

India's Infosys quarterly profit dips but forecasts upturn

Indian outsourcing giant Infosys Technologies reported Tuesday quarterly net profit slipped, but forecast better times ahead despite a rising rupee that could eat into earnings.

Google to scrap president post of Japanese unit

US Internet giant Google will abolish the position of president in its Japanese unit and seek to integrate it in its global operations more closely, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

Google to scrap president post of Japanese unit

US Internet giant Google will abolish the position of president in its Japanese unit and seek to integrate it in its global operations more closely, a company spokesman said Tuesday.

China Southern swings back to profit in 2009

China Southern Airlines, the nation's biggest carrier by fleet size, said Tuesday that it swung back to profit in 2009 helped by a government bailout and improving domestic demand.

China Southern swings back to profit in 2009

China Southern Airlines, the nation's biggest carrier by fleet size, said Tuesday that it swung back to profit in 2009 helped by a government bailout and improving domestic demand.

Telecom Italia chief rules out merger with Telefonica

Telecom Italia head Franco Bernabe dismissed on Tuesday rumours of an impending merger with the group's primary shareholder Telefonica of Spain.

Telecom Italia chief rules out merger with Telefonica

Telecom Italia head Franco Bernabe dismissed on Tuesday rumours of an impending merger with the group's primary shareholder Telefonica of Spain.

Corporate Briefs

FEDERAL INSURANCE
The insurer's Board of Directors recommended 12 percent stock dividend for 2009. The company's annual general meeting will be held on June 17 (at 11:30am) at BIAM Auditorium in Dhaka. The record date is April 28. The company has reported earnings per share of Tk 12.95, net asset value per share of Tk 154.60 and net operating cash flow per share of Tk 34.02 as of December 31, 2009.

Currency

Local Market FX
The local interbank market was trading actively. USD/BDT rates were trading in a similar range yesterday. The market was liquid.

Metropolitan

Audit finds huge graft in Biman

Internal audit has unearthed huge corruption in Bangladesh Biman that crippled the state-owned airliner.

39th death anniversary of 5 martyrs tomorrow

Tomorrow is the 39th martyrdom anniversary of Shaheed Engineer Fazlur Rahman, Shaheed Hosne Akhter, an NGO trainer, Shaheed Mostafizur Rahman Moznu, a college student, Shaheed Hasinur Rahman Hiron, a school student, and Shaheed Azizur Rahman Babu, also a school student, says a press release.

Teachers' Assoc executives

Kazi Abdur Razzak and Principal Selim Bhuiyan were elected president and secretary general of Bangladesh Teachers' Association.

Deutsche Welle starts test transmission today

Deutsche Welle is going to start test run of its radio transmission in Bangladesh today.

8 projects involving Tk 1,251cr okayed

The Executive Committee on National Economic Council (Ecnec) at a meeting yesterday approved eight development projects involving Tk 1,251 crore giving priority to riverbank protection with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the chair.

Programmes to celebrate Pahela Baishakh today

Different socio-political and cultural organisations as well as educational institutions have chalked out elaborate programmes to celebrate the biggest carnival of Bangalees -- Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla New Year 1417, today.

Bhutan ready to hold Saarc Summit

Bhutanese Ambassador in Dhaka Dasho Bap Kesang yesterday said his country has taken all-out preparations to hold the upcoming 16th Saarc Summit in Thimphu scheduled for April 28-29.

Efforts on to solve power crisis: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday she said her government is making all out efforts to solve the power crisis in the country although the situation was created by the BNP led 4-party alliance government.

Domestic help tortured to death

An 11-year-old domestic help was allegedly tortured to death by a couple in their house at East Badda in the city early hours of Monday.

JU female student found dead

A female student of Jahangirnagar University was found dead at her rented house in Bank Colony area of Savar municipality yesterday.

Hillary felicitates Bangalees

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has greeted the people of Bangladesh on the occasion of Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla New Year 1417.

Danish minister calls on FM

Visiting Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Soren Pind has assured that Denmark would continue to be Bangladesh's development partner.

Workshop on climate change

Youths at a workshop yesterday urged the government and other development partners to include the young generation in the decision-making process regarding climate change.

S Korean envoy meets FM

Newly appointed South Korean Ambassador ChoYoung Tai called on Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday.

16 HSC examinees expelled

Sixteen examinees were expelled for adopting unfair means on the sixth day of the Higher Secondary Certificate and its equivalent examinations under 10 education boards yesterday.

Lane for cycling demanded

Speakers at a rally yesterday demanded a separate lane on all the roads for cycling.

Prof Nasir Chy passes away

Prof ATM Nasir Chowdhury, younger brother of National Professor Kabir Chowdhury and martyred intellectual Munier Chowdhury, passed away due to old age complications at her daughter's residence at Gulshan in the city yesterday at the age of 80, says a press release.

National

Seawater damages watermelon on 1,500 hectares in Patuakhali

Watermelon on over 1,500 hectares of land in different upazilas of the district have been damaged due to flooding by salty water from the Bay and adjoining rivers during new moon last week, much to the worry of farmers.

Pahela Baishakh reminds them of the tragedy

Nine years after the heinous grenade attack at Ramna Batamul in the capital during Pahela Baishakh (Bangla New Year) celebrations, family members of three slain victims were found crying, remembering the untimely departure of their near and dear ones.

Fraud 'pir,' accomplices remanded

A court here yesterday granted two days' remand for fraud 'pir' (spiritual leader) Amzad Hossain Bepari who was arrested on Monday at his den at Khasnagar village under Sirajdikhan upazila on charge of torturing several children and women in the name of treatment.

Rangpur trader Belal's body exhumed

Police yesterday exhumed the body of murdered trader Ahsanul Huq Belal, a resident of Mahiganj in Rangpur town.

Three outlaws arrested in two dists

Three members of outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) were arrested in Sirajganj and Satkhira districts yesterday and on Tuesday night.

10 sued for war crimes in C'nawabganj, Satkhira

Ten alleged collaborators of Pakistani occupation forces have been sued for war crimes in Chapainawabganj and Satkhira districts.

20 hurt as rival Pabna BNP men clash

Twenty people were injured as rival groups of BNP in Pabna yesterday locked in a clash when Opposition Chief Whip Zainal Abedin Farroque went to appear before a court to seek bail in a defamation suit.

Probe into 'misdeed' of principal begins

An investigation into alleged corruption at Rangpur Collectorate School and College began here yesterday.

Charge-framing against 7 JMB men on May 25

A Habiganj court yesterday deferred charge-framing against seven JMB men in four of the five cases for serial blasts in Habiganj town as operative Salah Uddin alias Salehin of the banned outfit could not be produced before the court from Kashimpur Jail.

Kuet BCL demands VC's removal

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (Kuet) unit has threatened to go for movement if their five-point demands including resignation of Kuet vice chancellor are not met within seven days.

Workers, security men clash at Benapole port

At least five people were injured in a series of clashes between security personnel and agitated workers of Benapole port who were being deprived of their wages on time.

AL activist murdered

An Awami League activist was hacked to death in Noapara industrial area on Monday night. The dead was identified as Zahid Hossain Tarafdar, 42, of Akterpur village under Abhoynagar upazila of Jessore district. Police arrested two people--Suman and Surat Ali-- of the same village suspecting their involvement in the murder. Police quoted locals as saying that five unidentified men came to Zahid's mobile phone shop at Taltola at around 10:00pm and stabbed him. The gang left the scene, leaving him critically injured. Zahid was rushed to the upazila health complex where the doctors declared him dead. A murder case was filed with Avhoynagar Police Station.

Extortionist arrested

Army personnel arrested an extortionist at Gorgojjapara under Laxmichhari upazila of Khagrachhari district yesterday. The arrestee is Amol Jyoti Chakma, 45, son of Robidhon Chakma of Patachhara area under Manikchhari upazila of the district. Police said, the army men, acting on a tip-off, raided Gogojjapara area and arrested Amol while extorting money from local traders. On Monday, army personnel of Sindukchhari zone arrested an illegal toll collector. He was identified as Jano Kumar Chakma, son of Ananda Kumar Chakma of Goiyapara village under Ramgarh upazila.

Abducted fisherman freed

A fisherman, abducted by a gang of pirates from Sundarbans on April 6, was released on Tuesday. Pirates abducted the fisherman, Rabiul Islam, 17, son of Saheb Ali of village Mathurapur under Shyamnagar upazila while he was catching fish in Chelakata canal. The gang then demanded Tk 20,000 ransom from the victim's family for his release. Sources said Rabiul 's relatives reached Dudli area in the Sundarbans in the afternoon and gave Tk 7,000, batteries, rice and ten litres disel to the gang to get him back.

Four deer poachers jailed

A court here on Monday sentenced four deer poachers to rigorous imprisonment. Senior Judicial Magistrate Md Mahruf Hossain also fined the convicts Tk 10,000 each, in default, they are to suffer six more months in jail. The convicts are Sripada Sardar, Shahidul Sheikh, Masum Gazi and Lakkhon Sardar. Police arrested the four in Koira upazila while they were slaughtering two spotted deer in February this year.

Engr held on bribery charge

Police arrested an engineer of Tangail Power Development Board (PDB) while he was taking bribe from two people on Monday night. The arrestee is Niranjan Kundo, 35, sub-assistant engineer of Tangail PDB. Police said they arrested Niranjan he was taking Tk 8,000 from two customers in New Market area in the town for repairing a transformer at Aloa Bhabani area under Sadar upazila. A case was filed against the engineer with Sadar Police Station. Contacted, Rafiqul Islam, executive engineer (sales and distribution) of Tangail PDB, confirmed the incident and said departmental action will be taken against the engineer.

Letters

Effects of salinity

About 53% of the coastal areas are affected by salinity. Agricultural land use in these areas is very poor, which is much lower than country's average cropping intensity. Salinity causes unfavourable environment and hydrological situation that restrict the normal crop production throughout the year.

Drinking water

It is the duty of a democratic govt to fulfil the basic needs of citizens, whereas the condition of drinking water in Dhaka city is beyond description. The city dwellers are suffering much as bad odour and detrimental suspended solids are found in the water, even after boiling it is not possible to drink it, as it is aesthetically not pleasing to the people. Moreover, there is a great possibility of becoming ill at any time having this water. Meanwhile, the High court has directed the govt to take necessary steps to alleviate the sufferings of city dwellers. It proves that the respective authorities are not concerned in this regard as the city corporation is not also carrying out their responsibilities under proper rules and order. Every day we find news in the electronic and print media that the ''pure drinking water'' crisis has become the most talked about issue in Dhaka city but the authorities concerned still have not taken any initiative in this regard.

Power crisis

The term “Load shedding” is a familiar one because we have to face it each and every day. I would like to ask all the people who are reading this right now “Is our government taking adequate measures in order to tackle this rolling blackout?” The answer is no.

Suicides

The reports on a 16 year old schoolgirl's suicide stated that “Police strangely claim she committed suicide”. Whereas the victim's mother claims that prior to her daughter's death she had identified and accused a 24 year old man (one whose unwanted proposals had been turned down) of pouring kerosene on her, striking a match and then fleeing. Clearly, this was no suicide or eve teasing.

Education

Many things are being written about the importance of improving education in Bangladesh and, as one who has taught in Bangladeshi-run schools for 10 years, as Assistant Teacher, Principal and Headmistress, may I add my two-pennyworth?

Rule of law and human rights

The prime minister last Saturday issued a stern warning against extortion and tender manipulations by student activists saying that such acts would no longer be tolerated. The warning came in the wake of media reports of student and youth wings of the ruling party indulging in extortion and tender manipulations in different parts of the country. I salute her for her sincere observation of those who are engaged in such heinous activities

No power, no water

There is a power and water crisis across the country. The gas crisis in the city is also acute. The government has to concentrate on solving these problems with a sense of urgency.

Adopting Bangla Calendar

A very interesting and meaningful article on the subject was published in a local English daily on 31st March. This writer read and appreciated all the articles in it which were meaningful and some instructive. Syed Muazzem Ali's write-up entitled "Bring the Bangla Calendar in Our National Life" was based on logical considerations, maintaining the influence of the rainy season in the annual development program.

Solar battery three wheelers

The advent of the Solar cum Battery 3 wheeler is a cause for joy for Dhakabashis (DS 04 April 2010). At last we have a suitable alternative to the rickshaw. Priced at a moderate Tk. 1.2 lakh and consuming solar power (20%) and re-chargeable batteries (80%) initially, it is sure to revolutionize urban transport for the masses. With better solar power panels the present percentage is sure to increase rapidly making it even more “green” and cost-effective.

Poor Bangladesh

Bangladesh has become a country ravaged by war or affected by severe natural calamities, scarcity of power, gas and water. In addition, crimes of all sorts are taking place.

New species of butterfly

Researchers of Jahangirnagar University have spotted new species of butterflies. The five-member team comprises a teacher (Associate Professor Monowar Hossain) and students of Zoology Department. Universities are the places for research. Our teachers are not only responsible for teaching at universities but also for researching. But very few research activities take place in our public universities apparently. Teachers are busy all day taking classes not only in their universities but also in private universities. Students also do not want to spend time in extra curricular activities. I think the spotting of new butterfly species at JU is a good example of what good research can bring.

Court sanctity trampled

This kind of headline in the country's major English daily like DS which is widely read by interested readers including foreigners reflects the environment prevailing in the Bangladesh courts and the quality of lawyers. The lawyers supporters of a political party are out to save their corrupt leaders resorting to violence in the courtroom instead of going through the judicial process. The question now arises how did they know beforehand that their leader will not get fair justice in the court? Through their unjust violence, the people got to know that the leader is guilty and she is trying to evade judicial process and opted for wrong path of igniting unrest among her blind supporters to save her.

A suggestion

I would like to give my heart felt thanks to the editor and the organisers of the award presentation ceremony for the outstanding students of O and A levels. My son was one of them getting 10 'A's in his O level. It was indeed a splendid ceremony to attend. But one thing that I felt disappointed about was when the magazine came out naming all the award winners. When you name the award winners in the magazine you do not mention how many 'A's he/she achieved along with his/her ambition and favourite quotation. This is one improvement The Daily Star should definitely work upon; from the next time please do mention the number of grades each student achieved instead of naming only the highest achievers.

A suggestion

I would like to give my heart felt thanks to the editor and the organisers of the award presentation ceremony for the outstanding students of O and A levels. My son was one of them getting 10 'A's in his O level. It was indeed a splendid ceremony to attend. But one thing that I felt disappointed about was when the magazine came out naming all the award winners. When you name the award winners in the magazine you do not mention how many 'A's he/she achieved along with his/her ambition and favourite quotation. This is one improvement The Daily Star should definitely work upon; from the next time please do mention the number of grades each student achieved instead of naming only the highest achievers.

International

Pakistan strike kills 71 civilians

Up to 71 civilians were killed in a weekend strike by Pakistani jets near the Afghan border, survivors and a government official said yesterday a rare confirmation of civilian casualties that risks undercutting public support for the fight against militants.

Obama presses world to lock down nuke materials

US President Barack Obama told world leaders yesterday to agree on locking down atomic bomb materials to prevent the "catastrophe" of nuclear terrorism.

UK's Conservatives launch polls manifesto

Conservatives launch their manifesto yesterday for the May 6 general election, with a raft of pledges they say will put power back in people's hands.

Manmohan, Gilani meet at nuke summit

The prime ministers of rivals India and Pakistan have met at a nuclear security summit in Washington.

Strike in Kashmir to protest bombing conviction

Shops, banks and schools shut in revolt-hit Indian Kashmir yesterday after separatists called a strike to protest the conviction of six Muslims for a deadly 1996 market bombing in New Delhi.

China urges reconciliation in Myanmar vote

China said yesterday it hoped Myanmar's elections later this year would lead to national reconciliation and announced Premier Wen Jiabao would visit the country this month.

Militants kill 15 in Philippines

al-Qaeda-linked militants in police uniforms set off bombs and fired at civilians on a strife-torn Philippine island yesterday in violence that left 15 people dead, officials said.

Mob trashes Indian hospital for admission refusal

A mob ransacked a private hospital in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata yesterday after it refused to admit a critically injured child who later died, local ministers said.

Ousted Kyrgyz president sets condition for resignation

Ousted Kyrgyzstan president Kurmanbek Bakiyev said yesterday for the first time since he was toppled in protests that he was ready to resign, as long as his security was guaranteed.

Baghdad blast kills 3

Iraqi officials say a bomb inside a Baghdad liquor store killed three people and wounded seven, while an Iraqi TV reporter was in critical condition after a bomb planted in his car exploded.

China cools push for sanctions on Iran

China said yesterday sanctions were not the answer to the Iranian atomic standoff, denting US President Barack Obama's hopes of sealing a deal to punish Tehran as he hosted a summit on nuclear arms.

Red Shirts vow action as govt accuses Thaksin

Thailand's "Red Shirts" pledged to step up their protest campaign yesterday as pressure mounted on the prime minister to end a tense standoff that descended into deadly violence at the weekend.

US, Russia sign deal to dispose of plutonium

Russia and the United States signed a new protocol yesterday pledging to complete the disposal of 34 tonnes of excess weapons-grade plutonium each, enough to make 17,000 weapons, officials said.

Arts & Entertainment

Nationwide celebrations on Pahela Baishakh

As a regular annual programme to usher in the new Bengali year, Chhayanaut is holding Barshoboron 1417 today at the historical Ramna Batomul, in the city. Channel i will telecast the day's programme live from the spot, while Telnet, Grameenphone's sister concern, will disseminate the detailed programme on the website "www.chhayanaut.org" so that anyone can log into it. Grameenphone is patronising the programme.

Festival on Canvas

Folk art is quite popular in the sub-continent. The genre is closely connected to our culture and heritage. Some painters like to portray various religious, cultural and folk festivals in Bangladesh. Many artists start their journey with folk art and it generally encapsulates the identity, custom and language of a particular place or community. Needless to say, folk elements are in abundance in the works of painters like Zainul Abedin, Quamrul Hassan, SM Sultan, Rashid Chowdhury, Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, Abdus Shakoor Shah and others.

The beat of Baishakh

Chhayanaut's annual Barshobaran and other cultural organisations' special programmes for Pahela Baishakh are on, much to the delight of music aficionados.

Dancing in the New Year

Shibli Mohammed, Shamim Ara Nipa and the team of Nrityanchal have been pretty active in the year that has just ended. Shibli Mohammed was vocal about their various works last year and their fixtures in this Bengali year:

Mela: Unadulterated fun

Nothing denotes festivities in Bangladesh like mela (fairs). Originating from rural Bengal, these modest expositions have gone through some makeover and now get much fanfare in the urban areas. Unsurprisingly, mela is a big part of Pahela Baishakh celebrations. Be it the informal neighbourhood congregation, the major event where the crème of Dhaka hobnob, or the vibrant, delightfully gaudy rural affair -- mela gives us an opportunity to let go of our mundane worries for a while and soak up all the fun elements of it -- live music, jatra, putul naach (puppet dance), nagordola (a smaller indigenous version of Ferris wheel), snacks, sweets, clothes, churi (glass bangles), toys and much more.

A musical message on New Year

"Hindu na Musalman, Bouddho na Christian, shob bhuley jao eshey gechhey Pahela Baishakh": The song calls everyone to come together -- irrespective of religion -- to celebrate Pahela Baishakh, the biggest secular Bengali festival.

Special TV programmes on Pahela Baishakh

Channel i
Apart from airing Chhayanaut's New Year celebration live from Ramna Batomul at 6am and Baishakhi festival from Bakultola, Charukola at 9:30, Channel i will air live for the first time Grameenphone-Channel i Baishakhi Fair from Channel i Tejgaon office at 10am. This will be followed by premiering Impress Telefilm's film "Nijhum Oronye" at 2:30pm. Written and directed by Mahbub Jamil and Mushfiqur Rahman Gulzar respectively, the cast of the film on Liberation War is Abul Hayat, Ilias Kanchan, Champa, Sajal, Badhon and others.

OP-ED

Our Baishakh dreams and prayers

LET there be a celebration of the Bengali spirit today. It is a spirit that has done us well through the centuries. Baishakh is a good deal more than a simple beginning of a new year. It is, indeed, a paean to heritage, a highlighting of the cultural traditions we are heir to. Baishakh is a harkening back to the past in as much as it is a comprehension of the present and a prediction of the future.

A gala day for Bengalees

EVERYTHING under the sun looks gay and cheerful and colourful. As we celebrate Pahela Baishakh we remember that the Babylonians were in fact the first observers of New Year about 4,000 years ago. Celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays.



The Daily Star

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