The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, September 22, 2014


News of: Friday, 23rd of April, 2010

Front Page

Country gets new land

Even as many worry Bangladesh will shrink in size because of global warming, a new study shows that the country has actually grown in landmass equal to five times the size of Dhaka city.

Govt goes for witness safety

The government is going to formulate laws to protect witnesses who will give deposition in all courts including the newly formed International Crimes Tribunal to prove the offences committed by the accused.

Tension in Bhola as polling day nears

BNP leaders, activists and supporters in Bhola-3 constituency are panic-gripped ahead of the by-election as they are allegedly being frequently attacked by their political opponents and threatened not to go to polling centres on election day.

Ruling BNP rejected EC decision in 2004

BNP is demanding deployment of army in Bhola-3 by-election, but while in power it opposed Election Commission's decision about troop deployment in the controversial Dhaka-10 by-poll in 2004.

US minister for fairness in war crimes trial

US Deputy Secretary of State James B Steinberg yesterday said some questions like the trial of war criminals have to be resolved through the internal political process of Bangladesh.

Sideline talks to seize spotlight

Bangladesh and Indian premiers may have important talks on the sidelines of the 16th Saarc Summit in Bhutan next week, when they will review the progress regarding the agreements made in January.

Check dropouts, raise enrolment

Unless a huge number of school dropout is checked and enrolment of poor and working or vulnerable children is ensured, the nation's goal of education for all by 2014 would remain a far cry, educationists said yesterday at a roundtable.

Gas crisis forces Kafco to shelve expansion plan

Karnaphuli Fertilizer Company (Kafco) has postponed plans for a billion-dollar plant because of gas crisis, the company's top executive said yesterday. It was forced to close down its existing plant less than a month ago.

Tejgaon link road increases traffic chaos

The new Bijoy Sarani-Tejgaon link road, which was supposed to ease tailbacks, has actually increased traffic chaos, thanks to faulty transport planning, a leading traffic expert and commuters say.

20,000 Tahrir men active in country

Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh has about 20,000 leaders and activists across the country, detained Mohiuddin Ahmed, the chief of the banned Islamist outfit, told interrogators yesterday.

JS body for realising dues from Khaleda

A parliamentary body yesterday asked the housing and public works ministry to send a letter to BNP chief Khaleda Zia asking her to pay the money so far due as principal amount and interest for the Gulshan house allotted to her.

Stop 'pre-emptive' arrests

The Election Commission (EC) yesterday ordered the district police administration to immediately stop 'pre-emptive' arrests of political activists and voters ahead of the by-polls in Bhola-3 constituency, terming such arrests unlawful.

Fresh case filed against 35 jawans

A new mutiny case was filed yesterday with the BDR Special Court-4 in Chittagong against 35 jawans of Bolipara Camp of 10 Rifle Battalion of Bangladesh Rifles.

Meghnaghat graft case against Hasina quashed

The High Court in a verdict yesterday quashed the proceedings against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Meghnaghat Power Plant corruption case filed during the last BNP-Jamaat regime.

Stipend for primary students to increase

State Minister for Primary and Mass Education Motahar Hossain yesterday said the stipend for primary school students will be increased from 40 percent to 85 percent as part of the government's pledge to achieve education for all by 2014.

Cut AL's link with BCL

Five noted educationists of the country have urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to sever all direct and indirect links between the Awami League and Bangladesh Chhatra League to maintain a congenial atmosphere at all educational institutions.

Body formed to review draft coal policy

The Energy and Mineral resources division of the Ministry of Energy, Power and Mineral resources yesterday formed a committee headed by the division's secretary to review the draft coal policy and asked to submit a report on it in the shortest possible time.

Shazneen's 12th death anniversary today

Today is the 12th death anniversary of Shazneen Tasnim Rahman, who was murdered inside her house at Gulshan in the city in 1998 at the age of 15.

Security firm's driver flees with Tk 45 lakh

The driver of a private security firm allegedly made off with Tk 45 lakh during the delivery of money from Bangladesh Bank to a HSBC branch in the capital's Motijheel area yesterday.

CJ didn't break oath

Chief Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim didn't break his constitutional oath by not swearing in two controversial persons as High Court judges, Supreme Court Bar Association President Khandaker Mahbub Hossain said yesterday.

Grenade attacks in Bangkok

A series of grenade blasts ripped through a pro-government rally in Bangkok yesterday, leaving three dead and 70 injured, including foreigners, in the latest bloodshed in the heart of the Thai capital.

Belgium debates Islamic veil ban

Belgium lawmakers are due to debate legislation that would ban full-face Islamic veils in public.

Criminal held on Benapole border

Detective Branch yesterday arrested Zakir Hossain alias Rupak, said to be a top listed criminal, from no man's land area in Benapole of Jessore yesterday.

Editorial

Government claim to an impressive scorecard

THE government is of the view that 80 per cent of the decisions made by the cabinet in the last 15 months have been implemented. In a little more detail, one is to understand that of the 405 decisions made by the council of ministers, a total of 325 have been carried out. It is now a mere 80 that are being worked on. We are happy that the government has decided to enlighten the nation on its achievements and has, in such an appreciable way, taken the people into its confidence. It conveys the government's sense of accountability and there should be more of it. However, even as we appreciate the move, we will hope that this self-assessment about its performance has nothing to do with being self-congratulatory.

Ship-breaking industry in its present condition is dangerous

THE Department of Environment (DoE)'s suing four ship-breaking yards in Chittagong for polluting environment is a clear case of misplaced emphasis, to put it politely. With an amendment to the import order letting toxic ships in without pre-inspection certification either by the supplier or the importer, the litigation is actually an eye-wash and playing to the gallery. As far as a response to the surging genuine concerns over the state of ship-breaking yards goes, it even sounds diversionary. In fact, another ministry of the government, namely, commerce ministry, deciding 'to allow dismantling vessels built with toxic substances', the four breaking yards in question have been sued. What does this work out to?

Sports

Mashrafe on the comeback trail

The just concluded National Cricket League T20s was a perfect comeback tournament for country's leading paceman Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. It was not only because the "Narail Express" became man-of-the-tournament for his striking all-round showing of ten wickets and 93 runs, rather he got back the much needed self-confidence ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 to start from April 30 in West Indies.

A vital cog missing

Cricket, at the highest level, is no longer just about bat and ball. Starting from a computer analyst to a spin bowling coach, a cricket team's needs have changed considerably from the days when a player himself was considered the best coach. Now with the advent of professionalism at both the international and domestic level, it would be quite the task to tell a cricketer to coach the team as well.

Tendulkar hopeful for final

Sachin Tendulkar, the Mumbai Indians captain, has injured a finger on his right hand during the semifinal against Royal Challengers Bangalore, making him uncertain for the final on Sunday. Tendulkar, who was bleeding after attempting a low slip catch, rushed back to the dressing room and had five stitches.

Oram wary of World T20

Jacob Oram's catalogue of serious injuries is wearing him down but the lure of the World Twenty20 has motivated another comeback. A torn patella tendon in the first ODI against Australia last month ruled him out of the IPL, where his price tag was US$675,000, and continued a desperate battle with his body.

Local Snippets

Rangers Club thrashed Old DOHS Club 44-9 in the Premier Bank First Division Basketball League at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.

Late runs frustrate Academy

A stubborn ninth wicket partnership set the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy back on the opening day of their first four-day game against South Africa National Academy at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday.

Bollinger bowls Chennai to final

Chennai Super Kings, boosted by a determined display from their bowlers led by Doug Bollinger, put an end to Deccan Chargers' run of five consecutive wins to qualify for the IPL final for the second time.

Good news for Tamim

There was good news for Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal as the left-hander is recovering fast to be fit for the ICC World Twenty 20 to be held in West Indies from April 30.

Rip-roaring Robben

Dutch winger Arjen Robben's strike sealed Bayern Munich's 1-0 victory over Lyon on Wednesday to give the German giants an advantage for the second-leg of the Champions League semifinal.

Cris refuses to blame road trip

The Lyon captain Cris refused to use his team's 800km, 10-hour road journey as an excuse for the 1-0 defeat to 10-man Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final last night.

Villa climb to sixth

Aston Villa climbed into sixth place in the English Premier League and in sight of a spot amongst Europe's elite next season as they edged Hull nearer relegation with a 2-0 away win on Wednesday.

Man Utd top of football rich list

Manchester United has been named as the world's most valuable football club for the sixth year running, while Real Madrid sit second and Championship club Newcastle United come in 20th in the latest data released by Forbes Magazine.

Bayern hope for Ribery reprieve

Bayern Munich are hoping Uefa will show leniency when a decision is made on Franck Ribéry's red card last night. Uefa will decide next Wednesday whether Ribery will face any more than the automatic one-game ban.

Van Gaal quite satisfied

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal believes his side are a formidable Champions League force after overcoming the first-half dismissal of Franck Ribery to beat Lyon 1-0.

Roma-Inter in Cup final again

AS Roma and Inter Milan will contest the Italian Cup final for the fifth time in six years after Roma reached the trophy match despite a 1-0 defeat at Udinese in Wednesday's semifinal second leg.

Pompey out of Europe

Portsmouth will not be allowed to play in the Europa League next season after the English Football Association and Premier League told the FA Cup finalists their late bid to register for the tournament had been rejected.

'England not favourites'

Former England football star John Barnes insists it is unrealistic to expect England to win the 2010 World Cup.

Milan to play with Fire

Italian powerhouse AC Milan will meet the Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer on May 30, the US club announced Wednesday.

Moyes rubbishes United link

Everton manager David Moyes has dismissed reports that he is set to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as boss of Manchester United.

Modi in the line of fire

The crisis in the Indian Premier League (IPL) gathered pace Thursday as a growing rift between cricket chiefs threatened the future of the cash-rich tournament.

Pakistan welcomes daughter-in-law

Newlywed and hailed as cross-border peace ambassadors, Indian tennis star Sania Mirza and Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik arrived in Pakistan on Thursday to a frenzied reception.

Akhtar dreams big

Injury-plagued paceman Shoaib Akhtar said Thursday he dreams of winning the World Cup for Pakistan next year, despite a series of setbacks and scandals that have kept him out of the game.

Stick wielders start training

The national hockey team have started their full-fledged training for the upcoming Asian Games Qualifiers after German coach Gerhard Peter Rach arrived in the capital yesterday following his flight delay over volcanic ash from Iceland in Europe.

Leaders pay tribute to Samaranch

Political leaders and the cream of the world sport's governing elite have paid tribute to Juan Antonio Samaranch, the former International Olympic Committee chief who died on Wednesday.

Cricketers in hospital after robbery

Brothers Golam Mabud and Golam Rahman, both first-class cricketers, have been admitted to Sylhet Osmani Medical Hospital after suffering injuries during a robbery at their residence in Sylhet early morning on Wednesday.

Partex official partner of BHF

Partex Beverage became the official partner of the Bangladesh Hockey Federation for next three years to provide mineral water for international and domestic competitions.

C'wealth training from May 1

The Bangladesh Olympic Association is going to start the training camp for the upcoming Commonwealth Games from next month though it has yet to receive any fund from the government.

Reward for SA Games winners

Some Tk 2.21 crore will be disbursed among medal winners of the 11th South Asian Games as per the promise of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said a Bangladesh Olympic Association official.

Premier v'ball starts today

The National Bank Dhaka Metropolis Premier Division Volleyball League starts at the Volleyball Stadium today.

Mahbub new boxing chief

Youth and Sports secretary Mahbub Ahmed took over as the president of the Bangladesh Amateur Boxing Federation on Wednesday.

Venus to skip Fed Cup

Venus Williams will not compete for the United States in this weekend's Fed Cup semifinal tie against Russia because of nagging leg injuries similar to those of sister Serena.

Business

Banks to face stress test

The central bank has ordered all banks and other financial institutions to undergo stress tests to check whether they are strong enough to hold up in the face of more difficulties and risks.

SEC moves on three companies after layoffs

The stockmarket regulator has asked three listed companies that announced layoffs in recent times, to brief general shareholders on the latest situation.

NCC Bank to channel remittance from Japan

A local private commercial bank has scoped out for the first time to remit money from the expatriate Bangladeshis in Japan.

BGMEA to set up world class lab for apparel chemical tests

Bangladesh is going to launch a world class testing firm for the first time in the country to conduct chemicals and dyes tests of exportable apparel items, said Abdus Salam Murshedy, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA).

ADB to double assistance

Asian Development Bank (ADB) will double its assistance to $1.1 billion a year for 2011-2013 to help Bangladesh tackle the power, gas and water crises.

Govt asked to discourage savings certificates

A parliamentary body yesterday recommended that the government discourage savings certificates by cutting their interest rates for what the committee said 'the betterment of the total economy'.

BB to get $250m loan soon to build infrastructure

Bangladesh Bank will receive $250 million in loan from the World Bank (WB) soon to build infrastructure through public-private partnership (PPP), said the central bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman yesterday.

Facilitate loans for entrepreneurs: Barua

Banks should ease the terms and conditions for loans and reduce the interest rate to a single digit for local entrepreneurs, to boost industrialisation, said the industries minister yesterday.

Govt to finance ETP for tanneries

State Minister for Environment and Forests Hasan Mahmud said yesterday the government would finance the construction of the central effluent treatment plant (ETP) for the newly established tannery village in Savar.

Faruk seeks greater exports to US

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan has urged the US government to immediately pass the New Partnership for Trade Development Act (NPTDA) in the US Congress to boost exports of Bangladeshi products to the US market.

Qatar Airways resumes European flights

Qatar Airways resumed flights in and out of Europe yesterday after the continent's airspace was cut off by a spread of volcanic ash cloud over the past week.

Employment Bank opens upazila branches

Employment Bank has sped up work to set up branches in all upazilas.

Corporate Briefs

PRAGATI INSURANCE
The Board of Directors recommended 20 percent cash dividend and 10 percent stock dividend (1 bonus share for every 10 shares) for 2009. The company's annual general meeting will be held on June 15 (at noon) at Jamuna Resort Ltd in Tangail. The record date is May 10. The company also reported earnings per share of Tk 28.73, net asset value per share of Tk 530.52 and net operating cash flow per share of Tk 10.88 as of December 31, 2009.

Oil below $84

Oil prices turned mixed in Asian trade Thursday after a report showed weaker demand in the United States, the world's largest energy-consuming nation, analysts said.

Metropolitan

Stalemate at CU continues for 3rd day

Academic activities of Chittagong University (CU) were hampered for the 3rd consecutive day as Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) CU unit continued indefinite strike to press home their demands, including resignation of Vice Chancellor Dr Abu Yusuf.

'Ratify ILO convention'

Speakers at a seminar yesterday underscored the need for ratifying the International Labor Organisation (ILO) Convention concerning the minimum age for admission to employment to eliminate child labour.

Court extends time for Bashundhara's statement for 3rd time

A Dhaka court yesterday asked Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan and other defendants in a Tk 200 crore defamation case to submit a statement by May 20.

Boy beaten to death by girl's relatives

A teenage garment worker was beaten to death allegedly by the relatives of his girlfriend at Mohammadpur in the city on Wednesday.

Road crashes kill 4

Four people were killed and 16 others injured in separate road accidents in Rajshahi and Gaibandha yesterday.

Investment in power, gas sectors assured

US Deputy Secretary of State James B Steinberg has heaped high praise on Bangladesh 's progress in human development, strengthening democracy and preserving human rights under the present government.

Newspaper holiday May 1

Newspapers Owners' Association of Bangladesh (Noab) will observe May 1 as a holiday on account of historic 'May Day'.

Ex-ambassador Nazimullah asked to surrender by April 25

Former ambassador ATM Nazimullah Chowdhury has been asked to surrender before the trial court by April 25 in connection with a corruption case, according to a verdict of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court whose copy was released yesterday.

Text of statement of educationists

Following is the text of the joint statement of the five educationists.

'Trial to be completed within govt's tenure'

Planning Minister AK Khandker yesterday said that he hopes the trial of war criminals would be completed within the tenure of this government.

12 community radio centres approved

The government has given permission to set up 12 community radio centres as part of its policy of dispersal of information about the rural life and living.

Call to raise awareness to combat childhood cancer

Although 80 percent of childhood cancer cases get cured in developed countries, the figure for Bangladesh is only 10 to 20 percent due to lack of awareness and early intervention, experts said yesterday.

AL cadres attack BNP demonstration

A group of unruly Awami League cadres yesterday afternoon unleashed an attack on a BNP demonstration at Alam Market premises in the city's Jurain area, vandalising the dais and driving out demonstrators.

'BNP will stay in Bhola-3 by-polls'

The BNP will stay in the Bhola-3 by-election unless they are 'kicked out', the party's Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain said yesterday.

Govt believes in secularism: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed her and her government's strong commitment to ensuring religious freedoms and the dignity of each and every person, asserting her present government's belief in secularism does not preclude religion.

No headway in cop murder probe

Three days have elapsed since the murder of Sub-inspector Gautam Roy in the city but law enforces are yet to establish its motive or arrest the killers.

Shawkat gets bail

Two Dhaka courts yesterday granted bail to Shawkat Mahmud, adviser to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in two defamation cases filed against him on charges of making derogatory remarks about Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina and State Minister for Law Qamrul Islam.

US dy secy of state calls on Khaleda

US Deputy Secretary of State James B Steinberg paid a courtesy call on BNP Chairperson and Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia at her Gulshan office yesterday.

Many war criminals fleeing country

It is possible at this moment to arrest around 20 alleged war criminals on the basis of evidence and documents, Dr MA Hasan, convener of War Crimes Facts Finding Committee WCFFC, said yesterday.

Mugger shoots college student

A student of Tejgaon College was shot while trying to catch a mugger at West Monipur in the capital's Mirpur yesterday.

National

Patuakhali health care in awfully poor health

Amid acute shortage of manpower and accommodation, hospitals and health complexes in Patuakhali district are struggling to provide medical service for about 17 lakh people in seven upazilas.

Boro on vast areas goes under water

About two-thirds of the standing boro crop in Kawadighi and Korayer haor areas under Rajnagar upazila of Moulvibazar district have gone under water due to heavy rainfall and onrush of water from hills across the border.

Saline the saviour in unbearable hot spell

People of Rajshahi are experiencing an unbearable hot spell with the daytime temperature hovering around 40 degrees Celsius, much over the district's average April temperature of 35.7 degrees while erratic power supply coupled with water crisis compounds the problem.

4 Ruet BCL men hurt in rival faction's attack

Four activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) were injured in an attack yesterday by the activists of a rival faction at Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet).

KPI student commits 'suicide'

A first year student of Kushtia Polytechnic Institute (KPI) committed suicide at a mess in Talipara area in the town on Wednesday evening.

Expat abducted, schoolboy rescued

Criminals abducted an expatriate from bus stand area of Meherpur town on Wednesday evening and demanded ransom while Rab rescued an abducted Magura schoolboy from Boraigram in Natore yesterday.

3 instructors of Sylhet PTI transferred

Three instructors of Sylhet Primary Training Institute (PTI) were transferred yesterday on the basis of the report of a probe body formed by the authorities concerned following agitation by the trainees on April 16.

Indigenous people demand land rights

Thousands of indigenous people brought out a procession, held a rally and submitted a memorandum to the secretary of land ministry through the deputy commissioner to press home their five-point demand in town yesterday morning.

One killed, 400 houses destroyed

A youth was killed and several hundred thatched houses were destroyed as a tornado lashed different villages in remote Borohorina union under Barkal upazila of the district on Tuesday night.

Girl raped in Chuadanga

A five-year-old girl was raped at Aliarpur village in Sadar upazila in Chuadanga on Wednesday afternoon.

Yaba tablets recovered

Members of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) on Wednesday night seized about 50 thousand pieces of Yaba tablets worth Tk 2.5 crore at Balutupa near the district town. Acting on a tip-off, a patrol team of BDR conducted a drive in the area at midnight and recovered the sex stimulating tablets. Sensing presence of border guards, the drug peddlers fled the scene leaving behind the tablets.

Illegal structures demolished

Khulna City Corporation (KCC) in a drive conducted on Wednesday demolished over 100 unauthorised structures built on both sides of canals in Gallamari and Bagmara areas by influential persons belonging to Awami League, BNP and business community. A KCC team headed by an executive magistrate started the 20-day drive in a bid to resolve the problem of water-logging in the rainy season, according to KCC sources. The drive will continue till May 10, they said. Last year, a similar drive was conducted for the same purpose. But it was halted following murder of Shahid Iqbal Bithar who was the first convenor of the eviction drive committee. Bithar was killed in gun attack by outlaws on May 11 last year.

Robbery at expat's house

Robbers looted valuables worth about Tk 5 lakh from the house of an expatriate at village Joynagar in Jagonnathpur upazila of Sunamganj district early yesterday. Robbers numbering about 15 entered the house of Dabir Uddin by breaking open the door of the house and took away 5 tolas of gold ornaments, mobile phone, cash money and other valuables at arms point. While fleeing with the booty, the robbers fired blank shots to frighten people of the locality.

2 bombs recovered

Police recovered two powerful bombs from near the house of a retired government official in Dewanpara area of Goalanda municipality on Wednesday afternoon. Acting on secret information, police conducted a drive at about 6:00pm and recovered the bombs in abandoned condition from the western side of the house. However, none was arrested in this connection.

Man gets life for killing

A court here on Wednesday sentenced a man to suffer life term imprisonment (RI) for killing his younger brother. The court also fined the convict, Shafiq Miah, Tk 20,000, in default, to suffer two years more RI. According to the prosecution, Shafiq of Mojlishpur village in Biswanath upazila, slaughtered his younger brother Surat Miah following a family feud on March 13, 2009. Victim's wife filed a case. After examining records and witnesses, District and Sessions Judge M Mominullah handed down the verdict.

Letters

Trains move slow

Our capital city is almost in the middle of the country. Other important cities are not more than 500km from Dhaka city. So, it is very easy to provide a high quality transportation system either by railway or highway. But unfortunately we are far behind other countries in this respect. My focus is on railway. Railway can be a very profitable sector for government. Rail journey is much more comfortable and safer than any other mode of transport. It can be a first choice of travel and carrying goods. It is unclear to me that even now we are not able to provide a good railway system throughout the country. Last month I travelled from Dhaka to Brahmanbaria by "Mohanagar Provati”. It took two(2) hours to reach the place. Distance was 142 km. i.e. it travelled 70 km /hr. Cleanliness and other services of this train is praiseworthy. But what about other routes? My home town is Jamalpur. There are four inter-city and two commuter trains on this route. Distance from Dhaka to Jamalpur is 177km. But it takes six hours to reach at an average speed of 30km/hr! We want to get rid of this nightmare. People on this route are not travelling free of cost. They are also paying. They also have important works. They also want to reach home early. We want at least 70-80km/hr train service. It is not an impossible task. The easy solution is to construct double-line from Dhaka to other mega cities. Proper maintenance is also required.

Droughts

Droughts are recurrent features in Bangladesh, affecting plant growth and leading to loss of crop production, food shortage and for many people starvation. The records of incidence of drought in Bangladesh indicate that the north-western region of Bangladesh is the most drought prone. During the last 50 years, Bangladesh suffered about 20 times from droughts. The 1973 drought was one of the severest in the past century and was responsible for 1974-local famine in northern Bangladesh.

Pahela Baishakh 1417!

Pahela Baishakh was, and should be a day to remember for all of us! Not for the red and white dresses, nor the songs and cultural activities, but for the 'UNUSUAL' absence of load shedding! Load shedding has become a daily reality-- much like the morning cup of tea. That day it was a significant beginning of the New Year heralded by its absence! Till the time of this writing (around 7.30pm!), we have not lost a minute of electricity to load shedding. A rare event, worth more celebration than the New Year with its surprising and possibly auspicious(?) beginning!

Good news

Remittance inflow in our country increased by 20 percent in 2009. More than one crore Bangladeshis are now living abroad. Their remittances contribute to our GDP hugely. But there is absence of proper legal platform to send the money. Expatriates are somehow compelled to remit through illegal channels. Recently, Eastern Bank, Dhaka Bank & mobile operator Banglalink launched a cell phone-based remittance transfer system. They will allow the remittance receivers to cash in a day. The banks will offer mobile wallet accounts to the remittance receivers through Banglalink network.

Biotechnology

Biodiversity is the multitude of different living beings in a particular ecosystem or on the whole Earth. Biodiversity can be seen and studied at different organisational levels: genetic, organisational and ecological. It touches upon both native environments on land and sea as well as agricultural and other man-made surroundings. In agriculture, 7000 species of plants are used by farmers somewhere in the world, critics of Genetically Engineered Food (GE food) claim that the products of biotechnology threaten biodiversity. Every year hundreds of millions of pounds of organophosphate insecticides are sprayed on crops. These broad-spectrum insecticides kill virtually every insect on contact. The run-off from the sprays kills even more organisms in the soil and waterways. In an ideal world, we could just stop all use of these chemicals. But, unfortunately, such drastic measures would reduce crop yields.

Internet

It is obvious that, our government is committed to turning Bangladesh into a 'Digital Country'. Highlighting such a great plan, the prime minister has called on the whole nation to use Internet as a means of exchanging information, news, views and so on. As the benefits of Internet are well known, I needn't discuss them here.

Transport problem

Female students of public and private universities still suffer due to poor transport system.

Global warming

Global warming is a common issue today. The Arctic polar cap and Himalayan ice are melting and the sea level is rising gradually. Global warming and melting of ice is directly going to affect people living in the coastal areas. Sea level rise is a grim possibility and it poses a serious threat to people living in the coastal areas of Bangladesh. Twenty-five percent of our coastal areas may be submerged in the next fifty to hundred years, creating a huge problem of re-settlement of millions of people living in the coastal districts and can turn into a major national disaster.

What is going on?

Being citizens of an independent country, I know the first thing that people need is security of life. But are we getting it really? Keeping our eyes in the newspaper, every day we watch all sorts of crimes being committed.

Shocking indeed

I am greatly disappointed by the news of physical harassment of females by youths on Dhaka University campus after sunset on the day of Pahela Baishakh. A social resistance, especially from the young generation, is needed to avert this kind of incidents on such occasions. Strong vigilance and harsh punishment to the criminals must be ensured.

Indians honoured

UNESCO has selected The Indian National Anthem -- “Jana gana mana…” composed by great Bengali Poet Tagore as the best national anthem of the world. It may be mentioned here that the National Anthem of Bangladesh -- “Amar sonar Bangla…” is also composed by him.

Coastal and marine pollution

It is known that coastal areas are among the most sensitive zones around the world. The coast of Bangladesh is known as a zone of multiple vulnerabilities due to various forms of pollution which made the whole coastal and marine environment vulnerable.

BCS results

The process of the 28th BCS started about two years ago and its viva was complete on 10 January 2010. If the authorities were serious enough then in this computer age such a long time would not be required for publishing the final results.

Killing of students

How dangerous times we the students are passing through! Students are being killed one after another! Student politics has been turned into an excuse for killing people! As if anyone belonging to any political group or scholastic institution can be killed any time! And afterwards, though some committees are formed for investigation, hardly any one is found guilty in the end due to lack of enough evidence.

Introduce STMS

To free Dhaka from traffic congestion we are thinking of the introduction of underground and sky train services, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), elevated expressway etc. However, an easy, speedy, low cost and sustainable solution would be a Surface Train Metro Service (STMS) from Joydevpur to Narayanganj with all intersections grade separated. Double Decker Trains at every 2 to 5 minutes, as required, in this route can reduce the traffic congestion of Dhaka significantly, since most of the Dhaka's traffic generation points lie along this line. The track can be 4 lines from Kamalapur to Tongi with 2 dedicated lines for the Metro; else the central station can be shifted to Tongi. Some positive aspects of this project are:

Something fishy?

To the Bengalis it seems like something fishy is going on in India. Despite a fivefold increase in fish production since independence, many Indians prefer to go for chicken and meat rather than the Bengali staple.

Online Voices

Controversial 2 left out of oath

Chief Justice decides to swear in 15 HC judges; state minister for law declines to comment; bar chief says image of judiciary brightens (April 18, 2010)

International

Detained Fonseka attends parliament

Defeated Sri Lankan presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka has been released from detention to appear in the opening session of parliament.

Extending weekend, Pakistan plans to tackle power deficit

Pakistan's prime minister yesterday announced a radical plan to tackle the nation's debilitating energy shortages, including extending the weekend and banning all-night wedding parties.

Flights take off but ash limits Norway, Sweden

European airports sent thousands of planes into the sky yesterday after a week of unprecedented disruptions, but shifting winds sent a new plume of volcanic ash over Scandinavia, forcing some airports in Norway and Sweden to close again.

US warns of terror strikes in Delhi

The US has issued a travel alert saying that there are "increased indications" that "terrorists" are planning attacks in the Indian capital, Delhi.

US denies role in Benazir's killing

The US yesterday dismissed as "false" and "outrageous" the allegations made by former Inter-Services Intelligence agency chief Hamid Gul that the United States government was involved in the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.

Rajapakse's brother elected new speaker

One of President Mahinda Rajapakse's brothers was selected as the new speaker of Sri Lanka's parliament Thursday, a day after official results confirmed a solid victory for the ruling United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA).

Gunmen kill Pak politician

Gunmen have killed a former member of parliament and three other men in an attack on their vehicle in northern Pakistan's volatile Charsadda district.

Maoists in India gaining strength

The top policeman in the Maoist rebel bastion of Chhattisgarh warned yesterday that the insurgents were gaining strength in the central Indian state.

Early Afghan pullout would be worse than 9/11: Merkel

Pulling out of Afghanistan too soon would be "far more disastrous" than 9/11 because of the danger of extremists getting hold of nuclear materials, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday.

'Talk of Iran fuel sanctions a joke'

Plans by world powers to choke off fuel supplies to gasoline-thirsty Iran is a "joke," Iranian oil minister Masoud Mirkazemi said yesterday.

No building halt in east Jerusalem, says Israel

Aides to Israel's prime minister said yesterday that he has officially rejected President Barack Obama's demand to suspend all construction in contested east Jerusalem, a move that threatens to entrench a year-old deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking.

UN patience limited on Iran nuke plan: Russia

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned yesterday that the UN Security Council cannot wait indefinitely for Iran to heed the warnings of the international community on its nuclear programme.

Dark clouds gather over Iraq's political stalemate

It's no surprise that the process of forming a government after Iraq's March 7 election has proven frustrating and messy. After all, Iraqi politicians don't exactly play well together.

Clegg in hot seat for next TV debate

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg will be in the hot seat as Britain holds its second televised election debate, with Labour's Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron both gunning for the man who upstaged them a week ago.

Belgian PM quits, coalition topples

Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme threw in the towel yesterday -- for the third time as federal government chief -- after a key Flemish party scuppered his coalition.

Iran begins war games in Gulf

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard yesterday started large-scale war games in the Persian Gulf and the strategic Strait of Hormuz, state television reported.

Arts & Entertainment

Standing the test of time

A weeklong ceramics exhibition at Zainul Gallery, titled “Mrettikya” (Shadow of Soil), began on April 17 with the display of the works of teachers and students of the Department of Ceramics, Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA) of Dhaka University. The works remind one of Bengal's history of pottery and ceramics.

The reality of an ever-renewing art form

Swiss poet-playwright and General Secretary of International Theatre Institute (ITI) Tobias Biancone was in town to attend the international seminar and theatre festival jointly organised by the Bangladesh Centre of ITI and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). The festival, which ended on April 21, featured 21 productions -- including a dance performance, a dance-drama, one Chinese opera and a jatra -- staged by troupes from Bangladesh, India and Singapore.

Musings of a seasoned actress

Over three decades, actress Subarna Mustafa has enchanted the audience with her versatility. She has her hands full at the moment: There's “Shimanto” and “Metro” on Desh TV, “Uposhonghar” on ATN (by Shaatkahon, her own production house), and “Manobjomin” that will be aired on ntv from June.

“LUMIX Click to Fame” reveals 10 finalists

Names of the 10 finalists of the first ever reality show on photography, “LUMIX Click to Fame”, were announced at a programme held at the Hotel Sheraton yesterday. The 10 finalists will now compete for the top prize on a television programme that will run on Channel i from tonight. The programme will be aired at 11:30pm on Fridays.

DS Café

Starting from this Saturday, DS Café will have a celebrity take your calls at The Daily Star office. Once a month readers will have the opportunity to ask their favourite celebrity whatever they want to know. This month's featured celebrity is filmmaker Mostofa Sarwar Farooki. Call 8126155 on Saturday, April 24, between 1 and 2 pm to speak to Farooki!!!

Singer Hridoy Khan live on “Music Together”

Popular young singer Hridoy Khan will perform on a live musical show “Music Together” on Bangla-vision today at 4:05 pm.

Documentary on Shakespeare on Desh TV

To mark 446th birth and 394th death anniversary of William Shakespeare, Desh TV will air a documentary today at 6:25 pm on the legendary English playwright. Apart from this, renowned litterateur Syed Shamsul Haq and Abdus Selim will participate in a discussion, titled “Bangladesh-e Shakespeare Chorcha.”

Drama serial “Keu Robey Na” on BTV

Drama serial "Keu Robey Na” is written and directed by noted writer Anisul Haque and Faridur Rahman respectively. The serial will be aired today on BTV at 7:20 pm.

OP-ED

Re-framing the debate

Pohela Boishakh has long been contested political ground. For most Bangladeshis it is a cherished article of authentic indigenous Bengali culture. But not for the fundamentalists, who have long made it a target, both rhetorically and in more direct and deadly ways.

When dynasties are dinosaurs

Provision is an accounting word for liability of uncertain timing and uncertain amount. Certain costs or expenses will happen but their timing of incurrence or exact sums may not be known in definite terms. We make provisions in budget. We make provisions in business. It may sound unreal but why don't we do the same thing in this nation's future? Shall we say, give two terms of government to dynastic politics and then ask them to go away!

StarTech

In with mobile broadband

Bangladesh is a developing country with limited resources, but it had never shied away from embracing new technologies. It was the first South Asian country to have a live mobile network back in 1993 by adopting AMPS technology. Electronic mail (email) was also introduced the same year. The first digital technology was introduced through awarding GSM licenses to mobile phone operators Grameenphone, Aktel and Sheba Telecom.

A robot Ronaldo, a PC toaster: Spain's Campus Party has it all

Cristiano Ronaldo and Raul are kicking a ball about.

Is that the next iPhone?

Technology blogs were buzzing on Monday after gadget site Gizmodo published pictures of what it said was Apple's next iPhone.

Microsoft unveils 'social'phones for youth market

Microsoft unveiled a new line of mobile phones called "Kin" last week aimed at young users which emphasize social networking.

SAP targets businesses with new partnership

In a bid to cater for the growing demand of software solutions in the telecommunication industry in Bangladesh, SAP, one of the world's largest business software solution companies, on Wednesday at a programme in a city hotel announced their plans to expand its operations in the country.



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