The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Monday, December 29, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 19th of May, 2010

Front Page

Int'l court rejects Chevron claim

An international arbitration court yesterday turned down US oil giant Chevron's age-old claim of around $240 million from Petrobangla.

Khaleda 'misguided'

Intra-party feuds in Chittagong BNP have taken a turn for the worse following the party's decision to back M Manzurul Alam as mayoral candidate in June 17 city corporation polls.

Dhaka, Seoul agree to boost cooperation

Bangladesh and South Korea yesterday agreed to intensify cooperation in trade, investment, transfer of technology, energy and infrastructure development for mutual benefit.

Creeps reign supreme

It was like their job, gathering in front of Tongi Pilot High School gate during start of the school and when it breaks up. They make obscene gestures, explicit comments and whistle at the schoolgirls entering and leaving the school.

Twenty-seven lakh jobless

The number of jobless in Bangladesh increased by 28 percent to 27 lakh in last three years.

Her life changes in 9 months

Amena Begum Moni went to her father's at Dhalkanagar in the capital with her two sons, 10-year old Shanto Islam Himel and eight-year-old Sihan Islam, Monday. She was widowed nine months ago when criminals killed her truck-driver husband.

BNP's Paltan rally today

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will unveil a set of anti-government programmes at a rally in the capital's Paltan Maidan today.

BIWTA chief faces contempt charge over river drive

The High Court yesterday issued a contempt of court rule against Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) chairman and three others over their role in demolishing structures in four rivers around the capital.

Cyclone Laila gathers pace over Bay

The Bay of Bengal remains rough and all fishing trawlers were advised to return to the shore as the depression formed in the southwest at about 1,300 km off the coast intensified into a cyclonic storm yesterday.

14 girls kill themselves in 4 months

At least 14 girls and the father of a stalking victim committed suicide during the last four and half months, data shows.

Frigate case against Hasina quashed

The High Court (HC) yesterday in a verdict quashed all proceedings against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the frigate purchase corruption case filed during the last BNP-Jamaat alliance government.

Museums in sorry state

She moved a step closer to the man lying on the ground, tied up and blindfolded. The marks of the bullet in his body were clearly visible now. Scared, she grasped her father by the wrist.

Thai govt rejects peace talks

Thailand's government yesterday rejected proposed peace talks with "Red Shirt" protesters, saying they must first abandon their Bangkok rally site where clashes have left 38 dead.

Fire guts 15 shops at Mirpur

At least 15 shops were gutted in a fire at Jhut Patti in the city's Mirpur in the early hours today.

No swimming pool at Ctg Laldighi

The High Court yesterday imposed a restriction for three months on converting the Laldighi, a public water body of Chittagong, into a swimming pool by the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) authorities.

Changes in law to make ACC dysfunctional

Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) Chairman Hafizuddin yesterday said the proposed amendments to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Act 2004 will make the ACC dysfunctional.

Outlaw killed in 'shootout'

A regional leader of banned communist outfit “Purbo Banglar Communist Party” was killed in a shootout between police and his cohorts at Nehalpur village under Sadar upazila of Chuadanga yesterday.

Editorial

Enforcement of house rent law

REPORTEDLY, there has been on the average a 15 percent increase in house rent over the last ten years or so. And the matter of house rent, particularly in the metropolitan areas, is an irritating issue that sometimes leaves the two parties, the landlord and the tenant, in a very abrasive relationship.

Sangbad at sixty

SIXTY years ago, the daily Sangbad made its appearance in what was then East Bengal/East Pakistan. It was a time when the earliest indications of an emerging Bengali nationalism were to be detected. Sangbad, however, was not quite disposed to such causes in its initial stages, which again was quite understandable given the prevailing nature of politics at the time. And yet a moment came when Sangbad made that crucial choice of going for a defence of the cause of the Bengali people, a cause that not only focused on the need for a greater say in the politics of Pakistan for them but also on the necessity of a preservation of the heritage that underscored the Bengali social psyche. By the 1960s, it was Sangbad that was informing people insistently that the rights of the people of East Bengal could only be ignored at risk to the very state itself.

Sports

Emily dazzles for Mohammedan

Striker Zahid Hasan Emily struck twice as Mohammedan Sporting Club thrashed Sylhet's Beanibazar 4-1 in a Bangladesh League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

WI A in control

The hosts' brittle batting gave visiting West Indies A a commanding position on the second day of the first four-day match at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Tigers face Lions from today

Bangladesh will be looking to get over their shocking five-wicket defeat in the second warm-up game when they meet England Lions in a four-day match that starts at the County Ground in Derby today.

Excuses galore

"We have been doing everything to boost the players and bring about a resurgence in national hockey. But you see the result. If the team performs like this we will have to have second thought whether we want to participate in the Asian Games and take more embarrassment," such was the frustration from Khandaker Jamiluddin, the general secretary of the hockey federation after Bangladesh finished fifth among seven teams in the Asian Games Qualifying campaign.

Suspended ban on Emily & co

Mohammedan striker Zahid Hasan Emily, Shakil Ahmed and Enamul Haq Sharif have been given two-match suspended bans after the trio were found guilty of chasing the referee soon after the completion of their Bangladesh League match against Farashganj Sporting Club on April 28.

Zafar's Hawaii tour a success

Bangladeshi surfer Zafar Alam impressed on his month-long trip to Hawaii, claiming a third spot in the Long Boat competition of the International Surfing Contest that took place in the American island state last month.

Local Snippets

Eagles Club, Josephites Club, Europa Youth Club won their respective matches in the Premier Bank First Division Basketball League at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.

The immortals of Brazil

As with 1966, images of this tournament remain at the forefront of the football fan's memory. This was the first tournament to be televised in colour and the football played was similarly vivid. It is remembered as Brazil's finest and defining hour.

Barca prevail Real duel

The 2009/10 La Liga season was a clash bet-ween Real's new collection of 250-million euro 'Galacticos' and Barce-lona's all-conquering treble winning team.

Madrid calling Jose?

Real Madrid coach Manuel Pellegrini is set to be handed a four-million euro walkaway payment and replaced by Inter Milan's Jose Mourinho for next season, press reports in Spain claimed Tuesday.

Twists and turns till end

It took a solitary goal from Diego Milito on the final day of the season away to Siena to secure a fifth straight title for Inter Milan but at times that kind of conclusion looked highly unlikely.

Boateng says sorry

Germany's new 'public enemy number one' Kevin-Prince Boateng apologised on Tuesday for dashing Germany captain Michael Ballack's World Cup hopes with a hard tackle that ruled him out of the tournament.

Kalle consoles Ribery

Bayern Munich president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admitted Tuesday that playmaker Franck Ribery had been hit hard by the failed appeal that has ruled him out of the Champions League final.

Swiss lose Spycher

Key Switzerland defender Christoph Spycher has been ruled out of the World Cup due to a knee injury, the Swiss football federation announced Tuesday.

Lippi leaves out Grosso

Juventus left-back Fabio Grosso was the shock victim as Italy coach Marcello Lippi cut two players from his pre-World Cup squad on Tuesday.

Greats hail heroes

Former England captains lavished praise on Paul Collingwood's boys who won the country its first major world title with the ICC World Twenty20 triumph on Sunday.

Flower being cautious

England coach Andy Flower has insisted his side will keep their World Twenty20 final win over Australia in perspective ahead of the upcoming Ashes series with their oldest foes.

Back where he belongs

Former England coach Duncan Fletcher has returned to his roots at the Harare academy, bent on strengthening Zimbabwe's cricket development.

'T20 win gives Eng a boost for Ashes'

Shane Warne admits England's ICC Twenty20 final win against Australia has given them a psychological advantage ahead of the forthcoming Ashes series.

Rajib finishes on lowly 15th

GM Eamul Hossain Rajib became fifteenth in the Commonwealth Chess Championship concluded in New Delhi yesterday. Rajib earned eight points from 11 games. FM Abu Sufian Shakil became 33rd with 7.5 points. FM Minhazuddin Ahmed Sagar became 53rd while FM Mohammad Javed became 65th. Sagar and Javed earned 7 points each. FM Mehdi Hasan Parag became 78th, Abdullah Al Saif became 79th and Debaraj Chatterjee became 85th. Parag, Saif and Debaraj earned 6.5 points each. GM Niaz Murshed became 139th with 5.5 points, IWM Rani Hamid became 191 with 5 points.

Sunrise hold Uttara

Sunrise Sporting Club came from behind to hold Uttara Baridhara Club to a 1-1 draw in the Senior Division Football League at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium yesterday.

Business

Energy crisis shadows export potential

Exports show signs of recovery on the back of apparels, but that is hardly a reason to rejoice, as a gas and power crisis looms on the future of industrial production.

Power, transport to get 82pc more in outlay

The government will increase allocations for power and transport sectors by 82 percent in the next fiscal year, mainly to bear the costs of Padma Bridge construction and new power plants.

Lack of locomotives idles ICD containers

The number of locomotives to carry containers from Chittagong to Dhaka has declined, leaving the inland container depot (ICD) in Kamalapur with little work.

Inflation fed by world food, fuel prices

An upturn in global food and fuel prices is partly to blame for higher inflation rates in the region, said the Bangladesh resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) yesterday.

Responsible finance

The following is the abridged version of a speech by the writer to the graduation ceremony of the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA), Columbia University.

Hedge funds flock to Asia

As regulators in developed markets step up oversight of hedge funds, these free pools of capital are increasingly set to make their home in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Dhaka, Seoul vow deeper ties

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak yesterday vowed to strengthen bilateral economic and trade cooperation between the two countries for mutual benefit.

ADB warns Asia on volatile capital

Emerging Asian economies should stay on guard and ready to act if volatile capital inflows threaten to destablise the region's financial markets, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned Tuesday.

Mahmud takes over as CAAB chief

Air Commodore Mahmud Hussain yesterday took over as the chairman of Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (CAAB), the country's regulatory body for all civil aviation activities.

Technology upgrade a must to propel RMG

The readymade garment (RMG) industry must introduce modern machineries to improve quality and productivity to face global competition, said an economic analyst.

BBF to recognise best ad works

Bangladesh Brand Forum (BBF) will recognise the country's most innovative and successful advertisements through an award programme.

Pragati to make Tk106cr capital gain from land sale

Pragati Insurance is going to make a capital gain of more than Tk 106 crore, as the listed company has finalised the sale of its lands in Dhaka at Tk 141 crore.

Wal-Mart's Q1 net income rises 10pc

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s first-quarter net income rose 10 percent as the world's largest retailer benefited from cost-cutting and robust growth in its international business.

Vodafone profits surge

British mobile phone giant Vodafone said yesterday that its annual net profits almost trebled to 8.645 billion pounds on reduced write-downs and increased sales of its broadband Internet services.

Corporate Briefs

PADMA OIL
In line with unaudited quarterly accounts for the third quarter to March 31, the company reported net profit of Tk 145.25 million with earnings per share (EPS) of Tk 4.94 as against Tk 123.80 million and Tk 4.21 (restated) respectively for the same period of the previous year. Net profit was Tk 294.53 million with EPS of Tk 10.02 for the period of nine months to March 31 against Tk 213.45 million and Tk 7.26 (restated) respectively for the same period a year ago.

Oil up again

Oil bounced back from seven-month lows in Asian trade Tuesday as cheaper prices spurred investors back into buying mode, analysts said.

Pizza Hut unwraps new menu

Pizza Hut, an international chain restaurant franchised by Transcom Foods in Bangladesh, has added eight new pizzas and five new beverage items to its menu.

EXIM Bank to explain Q1 EPS

The stockmarket regulator has sought explanation from EXIM Bank in connection with the bank's unaudited accounts for the first quarter this year.

Digital TV expo kicks off June 3

A three-day exposition of the latest television technology and allied products will kick off at Dhaka Sheraton hotel on June 3, said a statement.

British inflation hits 17-month high

British annual inflation hit a 17-month high in April, official data showed on Tuesday, but Bank of England governor Mervyn King blamed temporary factors and forecast the figure would drop this year.

Spain trade deficit rises 17.4pc in March

Spain's trade balance deficit rose by 17.4 percent in March on an annual basis, the industry ministry said on Tuesday.

EU, Central America reach free trade deal

Central American countries and the European Union have reached a free trade agreement in talks in the Spanish capital, an EU official told AFP on Tuesday.

Europe must be about more than cash transfers: Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said yesterday that the European Union must be about more than just a system for transferring wealth from richer members to their struggling partners.

Metropolitan

Construction of Keraniganj jail yet to start

Miseries of the prisoners, who are packed like sardines in Dhaka Central Jail, will prolong due to the home ministry's failure to construct a prison in the city's suburban Keraniganj even in five years.

South Korea a special friend of Bangladesh, says Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called the Republic of Korea (ROK) “a special friend” deeply involved in the socio-economic development of Bangladesh.

'Create alternative jobs for Harijans'

Speakers have called for creating alternative job opportunities for Harijans, who have been stuck in the profession of cleaning roads and offices for almost 200 years without any recognition from society.

'Raise awareness to stop stalking of girls'

An awareness campaign against stalking of girls was launched yesterday with a call to involve adolescents, guardians, teachers and civil society members in the campaign to successfully tackle the menace.

Security beefed up in and around BNP rally venue

Security has been beefed up in and around Paltan Maidan in the city where BNP will hold its grand rally today.

Enhance English skills to face global challenges

Speakers at a programme yesterday stressed the need for students to learn better English to face global challenges and build a better future for them.

Biography of Ouderland launched

A biography of Ouderland Bir Pratik, the only foreigner to receive a gallantry award for his contribution to the country's Liberation War, has been launched commemorating the Dutch-born Australian's ninth death anniversary.

'Drug addiction root cause of 60 percent crimes'

Drug addiction is the root cause of over 60 percent of total crime incidents in the country, and is causing most of the incurable fatal diseases like AIDS, speakers said at a seminar in the city yesterday.

Ashraful made SC registrar

Md Ashraful Islam, a district judge and a member of Bangladesh Judicial Service Association, was appointed registrar of the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday.

Korea to increase dev aid for Bangladesh

South Korea plans to increase its development aid for Bangladesh to help stimulate economic growth and modernise industrial infrastructure and energy facilities, diplomatic sources said.

Matia slams donors for arsenic menace

Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury yesterday blamed donor agencies for arsenic menace, a growing threat to the public health in the country.

Illegal tobacco traders active in country

An international gang of illegal tobacco traders is very active in Bangladesh and they are playing a key role in smuggling foreign cigarettes into the country.

7pc increase in budget demanded for women's empowerment

Women leaders and development workers have demanded seven percent increase of allocation in the upcoming national budget for the development of women and establishing of a full-fledged separate ministry for the community.

Hearing in tax evasion case against Jalil June 15

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed June 15 for hearing on charge framing against former Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil in a tax evasion case filed by the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

Hearing on charge framing against Mahmudur on Sept 22

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed September 22 for hearing on charge framing against acting editor of the daily Amar Desh Mahmudur Rahman and two others in a defamation case filed by energy adviser to the prime ministerTowfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury.

Hearing on July 5

A Dhaka court re-fixed July 5 for hearing of the corruption case filed against BNP Standing Committee Member Gayeswar Chandra Roy following a time petition seeking adjournment of the hearing.

Finalise MPO list in a week

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday requested Prime Minister's Education Adviser Alauddin Ahmed to finalise the list of MPO within a week.

'OIC can help ensure peace in Islamic world'

Foreign ministers of OIC member states yesterday began a three-day gathering in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe to discuss ways to improve its efficiency and problems of the Muslim community living in non-Muslim countries.

AL course of action after BNP grand rally

The ruling Awami League (AL) will decide its course of action seeing the main opposition BNP's next anti-government agitation programmes to be announced today from a grand rally at Paltan.

Manpower bureau staffs blamed for graft

A parliamentary body yesterday blasted the top officials of the Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET) for "massive corruption" in different activities of the government organisation.

National

Five JMB men arrested in Kishoreganj

Five alleged members of the outlawed militant Islamist outfit Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were arrested at Chariakona in Katiadi upazila yesterday.

Indigenous woman, her daughter murdered

Criminals murdered two indigenous people at remote Rohindra Para village under Panchhari upazila in the district yesterday morning.

5 'suicide bids' in Meherpur

Five people allegedly attempted to commit suicide in 10 hours from 6:00am yesterday in Meherpur district.

Hailstorm damages crops,houses in Gaibandha

Severe hailstorm lashed three unions of Sadullapur upazila and four unions of Saghata upazila damaging huge crops and a large number of dwelling houses early yesterday.

Flash flood damages Tk 1,300cr boro paddy in greater Sylhet

Boro paddy on about 1.36 lakh hectares of land in greater Sylhet region has been damaged due to early flooding caused by onrush of water from hill areas across the border.

JCD leader killed in Chandpur

A JCD leader was killed by criminals at Koladi Professor Para in Matlab South upazila headquarter early Monday.

1 dies of food poisoning, 59 fall sick

One person died of food poisoning while 59 others fell sick after taking food at a religious function at Angardaha village under Dumuria upazila of Khulna district on Monday night.

Villagers kill fishing cat

Villagers beat a fishing cat dead at Chakdhubail under Mirpur upazila in Kushtia on Monday.

40 houses, 14 shops gutted in 3 districts

Fire gutted at least 40 houses shops and 14 shops in three districts on Tuesday and Monday.

Man sentenced to death for killing wife

A Panchagarh court yesterday sentenced one person to life term imprisonment for killing his wife.

Outlaws held after gunfight

Two underground operatives of Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-Janajudhho) were arrested after gunfight with police in Chatmohar upazila of the district yesterday.

Interns call off strike at Faridpur medical

Interns at Faridpur Medical College and Hospital (FMCH) yesterday withdrew their strike following an assurance given by the hospital authorities to meet their demands.

Crackdown on stalkers

Rajshahi police arrested 10 alleged stalkers from different city points on Tuesday and released nine of them hours later as they sought apology. Zahangir Hossain Matubbor, deputy commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police told this correspondent that all but one, named Shibul, were released. Shibul was taking photos of girls by his mobile in front of PN Girls' High School, he said. His two mobile phones were seized, he said adding that RMP is conducting anti-stalking campaign following a home ministry directive. RMP's assistant commissioner Mahfuzur Rahman said, detective branch of police caught 10 youths red-handed while conducting raids in different city areas including Malopara Coaching Centre crossing, Sadar Hospital road and PN School areas.

One beaten to death

A suspected thief was beaten to death by a mob at Dakkhin Rampur village in Sadar Dakkhin upazila of the district on Monday night. The identity of the deceased could not be known immediately. Police and locals said a gang of four thieves entered the house of Hafez Abdur Rob at dead of night. As Rob and his wife caught one of the thieves the other thieves stabbed them with sharp weapon leaving Rob injured. Hearing his scream, local people rushed in and beat up the thief who was caught by the couple earlier leaving him dead on the spot. The other thieves managed to flee the scene.

Murder in Narail

A man was murdered by criminals at Purulia village in Kalia upazila on Saturday. The victim was identified as Tota Mia, 48 of the village. Witnesses said, unidentified assailants chopped Tota while he was returning home from a local market at about 8:00 pm, leaving him critically injured. Later he died on the way to hospital.

Letters

Mother's Day

Like many other countries, we too definitely observe this day. We have huge responsibility towards our mothers. But, many of us still do not understand the significance of motherhood. If we could understand it, then why is a female child still unwanted ? Why a mother is tortured to death for the “guilt” of giving birth to a female child? It is also shocking that while killing the wife for dowry, a person forgets that his wife is also the mother of a child. I also do not understand why does a son become eager to send his mother to an old home? Throughout the whole life, a mother runs after her children. Why can't we look after them in their old age? There are many people living abroad who cannot manage time to come back to their motherland to visit their mothers. There are also men who do not hesitate to shift his mother from bedroom to storeroom or corridor.

Rental power

Dr. Abdul Matin, a former Chief Engineer of Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission, wrote an article in The Daily Star on May 5, 2010 on the government's policy of going for rental power for an interim solution of the present power crisis. He has convincingly explained that it is an unwise decision of the government to go for rental power contracts ranging from three to five years as rental power is traditionally used for short periods during an emergency or as a standby power source for big events, like Olympics.

Micro finance and other issues

That micro finance should have the total responsibility to alleviate poverty is the notion of some people. If they ever talk about poverty; they like to confer all the responsibility of poverty alleviation on micro finance. This is not rational.

Gitanjali

It has touched 100 years of its publication. The Nobel Prize winning book was published in 1910.

Fuel shortage

Having no liquid fuel, Bangladesh has to import it of necessity. Finite natural gas (methane) reserves are getting reduced day by day. Meanwhile, proven and possible resources of methane, remain unexplored even today! Coal is there, but we do not extract it, except from one mine-- for so many reasons (or excuses)! In the case of extraction of coal, we ideally define the saying: "Poverty in the land of plenty"! We are shying away from it, be it by shaft or surface mining, while the debate on the subject has continued on and on!

Power generation

Your staff correspondent's front-page report of May 11th. stated about the "whitening of white money" by Khaleda Zia! However the statement from an NBR official was otherwise! He stated, and I quote:

Shashi shines brilliantly

Our heartiest congratulations to Farzana Saki Shashi from Bhairab, Kishoreganj, for becoming the second runners-up jointly with Drokrishnendu in Mirakkel- 5, a show arranged by Zee Bangla. Its last episode was on May 8, 2010.

Dowry

Dowry, a social disease, cannot be cured fully by laws only, rather creating mass awareness among rural people is needed.

Importing films

This is in reference to our prime minister banning sub-continental films in Bangladesh which seems to have been welcomed by many people. I however beg to differ. This also bans our freedom and our right to choose what we want to watch considering the fact that we live in a free country.

Order of precedence

Even in these days of disrespect and disregard, the society still maintains a special position and admiration for the varsity professors because they impart education at the highest seat of learning, that is, the university. But in order of precedence at the national level, the professors have not been given their just status and accreditation. Often they get into embarrassing situations.

MPO list

The recent decision taken by the cabinet regarding the acceptance of MPO list is really controversial as the education minister has already finalised the draft, after a long analysis and consideration. It again proves that political partisanship is prevailing in the country and that is one of the hindrances to walking on the way to progress. In a least developed country like Bangladesh, education plays the pivotal role for the continuous development of the nation. So, our prime minister has to handle this issues overcoming all political considerations to take the right decision for enlisting the institutions. Education is a basic need and the present govt has to give right priority to the education sector.

Travelling by train

Along with two other friends of mine, I decided to travel to Sylhet for some specific business purpose and considering the hassles in road journey, I bought the Upaban Express first class ticket for 3 May, 2010. The train was scheduled to depart at 9:45pm. When we arrived at the station we saw a first class waiting room without any air-conditioning. There was a ceiling fan at one side of the room. The furniture were dirty, poorly maintained and occupied by the passengers or some other people who were not passengers of the first class. The washroom was equally dirty. For reasons not known, there was none to take care or check the tickets of the passengers or even clean the room. Having the entitlement yet we had to stroll out all the time instead.

Working overtime

Recently, the European medical journal published that people working 10 or 11 hours a day are more likely to have serious heart problems, including heart attacks, than those clocking off after seven hours. The finding, from an 11-year study of 6,000 British civil servants, does not provide definitive proof that long hours cause coronary heart disease but it does show a clear link, which experts said may be due to stress.

Prioritising civility

After suggesting that the powers of the ACC be curbed, I wonder whether the government is trying to promote a culture of being polite instead of pursuing justice. What other reason could they possibly have to justify such an unbelievably ludicrous protocol of asking for the government's permission before pressing corruption charges against bureaucrats? By attempting to strip away the powers of the country's leading anti-corruption authority against severe public displeasure, our leaders have once again made us realize that we, the people, are simply the means to an end; the pawns they need in support of their demagoguery so that they can get elected to public office. After all, does it really matter that Bangladesh is continually labelled as one of the most corrupt countries in the world today? Why not maintain that title and ask for permission from our leaders before possibly suggesting that they, too, are bound by the same laws as the rest of the people in the country?

Textile workers' strike

Manipulation and syndication are the major obstacles for the government to maintain price level of any item, be they industrial raw materials, daily essentials, food items, life-saving drugs etc. Stock market manipulation is a daily affair, for instance. We know the government is unable to apprehend pre-emptively on market reaction on any item, so it should have regular and constant watchdogs to monitor those sectors.

Public or private?

We are the students of Jagannath University. About 23,000 students are studying here. The students of Jagannath University bear the identity of public university. Instead of giving the facilities of a public university, such as, students' dormitory, exam halls, required classrooms etc, the authorities of Jagannath University are taking the initiative to make it private. The so called “ Black Section” 27(4) demands that a university will run with its own income which is impossible and it is nothing but a lame excuse.

International

Kabul blast kills five US troops, 14 others

A suicide car bomb that targeted a Nato convoy in the Afghan capital, Kabul, has killed at least 19 people, including six foreign soldiers.

Indian govt reviews anti-Maoist policy

India's government is reviewing its strategy for fighting Maoist rebels after a landmine attack in Chhattisgarh state killed more than 30 people.

Qaeda plots to attack Fifa WC unearthed

Qaeda's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri is planning to carry out a terror strike at the eagerly awaited Fifa World Cup 2010, a recently arrested al-Qaeda operative has disclosed.

India, Iran should have close ties

Contemporary world situation calls for close cooperation between India and Iran, Iranian President Mahmdoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday, adding both countries 'should not neglect the present opportunities to replace the dying big powers'.

Lanka storms leave eight dead, 200,000 displaced

Torrential rains and lightning in Sri Lanka have caused the deaths of at least eight people and driven more than 200,000 from their homes, officials said yesterday as the weather worsened.

Obama sends top aides in Pakistan to investigate

US President Barack Obama has dispatched two of his most senior national security aides to Pakistan in the wake of the failed Times Square car bombing, a White House official said yesterday.

'12 dead' in Pak blast

At least 12 people have been killed in a bomb blast near a police vehicle in the north-western Pakistani town of Dera Ismail Khan.

Rabri Devi gets bail for abusive remarks

A Bihar court yesterday granted bail to former chief minister Rabri Devi for allegedly abusing Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at a public rally.

Palestinians go door-to-door to combat Israeli goods

The Palestinians yesterday stepped up their fight against goods produced in Israeli settlements with a door-to-door campaign to raise awareness of a territory-wide ban.

Palestinians go door-to-door to combat Israeli goods

The Palestinians yesterday stepped up their fight against goods produced in Israeli settlements with a door-to-door campaign to raise awareness of a territory-wide ban.

Zardari pardons interior minister

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari yesterday pardoned a key cabinet minister sentenced over corruption to block his possible arrest, threatening to plunge his rule into fresh controversy.

Rescuers locate Afghan plane crash area

Afghan and Nato rescuers yesterday located the area where an Afghan passenger plane crashed with 43 people on board, including three Britons and an American, an official said.

Qaeda leader wins appeal against deportation

The alleged leader of an al-Qaeda plot to bomb targets in north-west England has won his appeal against deportation.

BBC sorry for queen's death joke

The BBC apologised "unreservedly" yesterday after a radio presenter jokingly announced that Queen Elizabeth II had died.

Speaker row clouds UK parliament

British lawmakers met for the first time since knife-edge polls brought a new coalition government to power, but calls for the House of Commons speaker to be sacked threatened to cloud the ceremony yesterday.

West sceptical over Iran nuclear deal

There has been a cool international response to Iran's announcement that it will send uranium abroad for enrichment after talks with Turkey and Brazil.

West sceptical over Iran nuclear deal

There has been a cool international response to Iran's announcement that it will send uranium abroad for enrichment after talks with Turkey and Brazil.

Japan not ready to agree with Hillary

Japan won't be ready to resolve a row over a controversial US airbase when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits Japan later this week, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said yesterday.

Obama discloses his wealth

US President Barack Obama's wealth in 2009 totalled between $2.3 million and $7.7 million, financial disclosure forms showed on Monday.

US ME envoy returns to region for peace talks

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell returns to the region yesterday for the first time since indirect peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were launched on May 9, officials said.

'Don't trust me, I'm a politician'

Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott had the country's political establishment in uproar yesterday after an astonishing admission that voters often cannot trust what he says.

Men are bigger liars than women

Men are more likely to tell lies than women and feel less guilty about it, says a survey.

Japan may pick robots over immigrants

Japan, like many countries across the globe, is facing huge challenges in caring for its aging population.

Arts & Entertainment

“Rooted Creativity-2”: Exhibition featuring feted artists

A group art exhibition, featuring the works of 10 painters, titled “Rooted Creativity-2” is now on at Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Dhanmondi. The exhibition is a part of the gallery's 10th anniversary celebration. Participating painters are Samarjit Roy Chowdhury, Abdul Muqtadir, Kalidas Karmakar, Shahid Kabir, Abdus Shakoor Shah, Kazi Ghiyasuddin, Farida Zaman, Mohammad Eunus, Rokeya Sultana and Dhali Al Mamun.

Committed to music

Upcoming singer Bizon Chandra Mistry belongs to the new generation of Nazrul artistes. Bizon has been a teacher at the Nazrul Sangeet Department of Chhayanaut since 2001. He graduated from the institution with a “Prothom Maan” (first class) in Nazrul Sangeet.

Cultural show featuring performances by indigenous artistes

Indigenous artists performed their traditional songs and dances at a programme held at the auditorium of Zila Shilpakala Academy here on May 16. Artistes of Madhupur Mandi Sangskritik Shilpi Goshthi, including Swarna Mrong, Priya Mrong, Michi Mree, Salashree Kubi, Dhingsree Nokrek and Sengmi Mree, performed at the event. Mebul Monalisa Dar and Vicshan Nokrek conducted the show.

“Biutiful”: Inarritu delivers straightforward tale on death

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is keeping it simple for once. The master of intersecting storylines on Monday delivered a pared-down new movie with a linear plot, stripped of all its bells and whistles.

“Shrek”: He’s Big, he's green, and he’s gone

Sooner or later every fairy tale reaches its happily ever after. For “Shrek,” the long-running animated fantasy franchise about a curmudgeonly ogre (voiced by Mike Myers), his human-turned-ogre wife, Fiona (Cameron Diaz), and his pals Donkey (Eddie Murphy) and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), that time is now. On Friday, DreamWorks Animation and Paramount will release “Shrek Forever After,” the fourth -- and, the studios say, final -- instalment in the series. In a recent interview, some of the “Shrek” stars spoke about the series and what its ending means to them. Excerpts from the conversations.

Mita and Bulbul sing at “Praner Khela”

This month's instalment of the musical programme “Praner Khala” featured renowned Rabindra Sangeet artistes Mita Haque and Bulbul Islam. The programme was held at Bengal Gallery in Dhanmondi, Dhaka on May 17.

“Asharey Golpo” on ntv

Drama serial “Asharey Golpo” will be aired on ntv tonight at 9:45pm. Written and directed by Debashis Kakon and Sajjad Sumon respectively, the cast of the serial includes Dr. Enamul Haq, Khairul Alam Sabuj, Mosharraf Karim, Farah Ruma, Kusum Shikdar, Nafisa and others.

Veteran actor Ariful Haque publishes a book

While most of us know Ariful Haque as a noted TV and film actor, many are not quite familiar about his latent talent as an author. The veteran actor went overseas in 2000 and now resides in Canada with his family. Before leaving the country, he wrote four books. His first book was “Sangskritik Agrashon O Protirodh”. His second book, “Natyakar Nazrul Islam”, features our National Poet as a playwright. The other books by Haque are “Hyderabad Tragedy O Ajker Bangladesh” and “Sangskritir Manchitra”. All his books are research-based, according to a press release.

OP-ED

Policemen, seized vehicles and citizens' dignity

THE cab drivers have made their point, somewhat. The police authorities have assured them that there will be no requisition of their vehicles on the streets and that there will be no cases filed regarding the recent chaos arising out of police action against some of the cabbies.

The coalition challenge

THE new British Prime Minister, David William Donald Cameron, has formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democratic Party as his Conservative Party could not secure absolute majority. The leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Nick Clegg, has become the deputy prime minister. Cameron is the youngest prime minister of Britain after the 2nd Earl of Liverpool in 1812.

Yes we can

THERE is widespread scepticism among the intelligentsia of Bangladesh when it comes to employing nuclear technology for power generation. They say it is too sophisticated, too dangerous and is for the developed countries.

Health matters

PROVIDING services as well as protecting individual health in the city is a critical issue. Not to speak of trauma caused by reckless driving, air pollution, emission of carbon and black smoke, and sound pollution, which are the reasons for severe sufferings of many aged people, infants, and mentally and physically weak city dwellers.

ICT: Myriad prospects

THE prime minister says that her government wants to ensure transparency and accountability in the administration to establish good governance and end corruption with a greater use of information and communication technologies (ICTs). It is reassuring when she adds that her government wants the public servants and service providers to take services directly to the people instead of people approaching the administration for the same.



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