The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 1, 2014


News of: Sunday, 20th of June, 2010

Front Page

River shown 'stagnant' for fish farming

The land ministry may soon lease out a 125.69-acre stretch of the Mukteshwari river by showing it “stagnant”.

Sneijder makes Dutch fly

Wesley Sneijder was on target as Netherlands beat Japan 1-0 in a Group E clash on Saturday to put themselves on the brink of reaching the World Cup second round.

RMG workers on rampage again

Some 100 people including 20 cops were injured and production was shut in over 50 factories in clashes between garment workers and police at Ashulia in Savar yesterday.

Officer cool

It was her bold statement that calmed tension. When Returning Officer Jesmin Tuli spoke, all became quiet in the control room of the Election Commission in Chittagong.

Cancelled votes gone up

Lack of awareness campaigns and apathy of voters raised the number of cancelled votes to as many as 35,506 in Chittagong City Corporation polls on June 17.

Flood-tolerant aman developed

Scientists have developed four new varieties of rice for aman season creating scope for increasing the yield of this monsoon crop and reducing reliance on boro production.

Killer drivers stay out of reach

At least 30 people were killed last month in 29 road accidents in the capital alone but only three drivers were detained with links to the incidents.

Road crashes kill 15

At least 15 people, including two physicians, were killed and 20 others critically injured in road accidents of Dinajpur, Sirajganj, Mymensingh and Bogra yesterday.

'Suicide' planned month back

Farzana made the decision to commit suicide about a month ago, said driver Al Amin, who was arrested Thursday for alleged link with the deaths the mother and her two kids.

Azad panel ahead in FBCCI polls

A panel led by AK Azad, a president candidate for the election to the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI), was ahead in the association group in an early count of votes.

FBCCI polls held

The biennial election of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) was held yesterday in Dhaka amid festive mood.

WC leads to Buet closure

The authorities of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) yesterday suspended academic activities for an indefinite period following a clash among students over suspension of classes for watching the World Cup Football.

Muggers shoot hotelier

Muggers shot and injured a hotelier at Tikatuli in the capital early yesterday.

Ashraf differs with Khaleda

Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam has rejected outright BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's claim that the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) election result showed a public response to misrule and failure of the government.

Drivers block Dhaka-Maowa link road

Autorickshaw and van drivers blocked south edge of Buriganga Bridge-2 on Dhaka-Maowa link road yesterday protesting collection of extra toll from them.

Sangsad TV from next month

A new satellite television channel dedicated to parliamentary proceedings would start dry runs next month.

Fire burns goods at city garment factory

A fire last night burned huge goods at a garment factory in Tejgaon industrial area.

UN high official due tomorrow

UN Under-Secretary-General Anna Tibaijuka arrives in the capital tomorrow on a brief visit to Bangladesh.

Energy saving bulbs up for change in 27 districts

The government yesterday distributed compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), popularly known as energy saving bulbs, to electricity consumers free of cost as part of its move on energy conservation in the wake of nagging power crisis.

Tannery relocation soon

Relocation of tannery industries from the capital's Hazaribagh to Savar and Keraniganj will begin soon, Industries Minister Dilip Barua told parliament yesterday.

2 bullet-hit on Sylhet border

Two Bangladeshi nationals sustained bullet wounds as Indian Khasias intruded into the country yesterday and opened fire on stone miners at Bichhnakandi borders in Gowainghat upazila.

Karzai sees sign of fresh battle

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Friday he was concerned about a looming battle over his country's untapped mineral resources and that Afghanistan's major donors should be prioritised in exploiting them.

Editorial

A cosmetic sign of improving living standard

BETTER lifestyle, improved standard of living, increased welfare and reduction of poverty have been inter-changeable phrases as far as laymen's understanding of economics goes. As a matter of fact, economists themselves are still immersed in expressing each of the indicators of development in measurable terms. That is when our understanding of what is going around in our life's conditions is enriched.

Rajapakse's rejection of UN demands

SRI Lanka's leader has come down hard on demands for a probe into war crimes allegedly committed towards the end of the conflict between the government and the LTTE. President Mahinda Rajapakse does not think that the Sri Lankan army committed any crimes or excesses, but he does believe that the criminality the United Nations wants to be inquired into came from the defeated Tigers. It is a position that will not sit well with the global community. Nor does it help that the president has described such demands as a demonstration of sympathy towards terrorism. The record does not show that the international community and global bodies have at any time been supportive of terrorism anywhere and have on the contrary been vocal against any individuals or organizations engaging in violent means of changing politics anywhere.

Sports

Denmark KO Cameroon

Cameroon became the first team to be knocked out of the World Cup after a 2-1 defeat to Denmark on Saturday, a result which also ensured Group E leaders Holland became the first country to reach the last 16.

Up-and-coming USA

Half-time and things are looking bleak for the United States as they trail Slovenia 2-0 in their vital World Cup match.

Brazil look to up a gear

Five-time World Cup winners Brazil are looking for a much-improved World Cup performance against the Ivory Coast on Sunday having failed to impress in their opening win over North Korea.

Black Stars draw ahead

Ghana edged clear at the top of World Cup Group D after an exciting 1-1 draw with ten-man Australia at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on Saturday.

Cupboard of Cesar has an empty space

Having lifted the Champions League, the Serie A title and the Italian Cup with Inter Milan, Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar now wants the World Cup and the crowning respect of his peers.

'Kaka is crucial'

Kaka is still crucial to Brazil's hopes of a sixth World Cup crown, according to teammate Robinho.

Play semis yellow-free

FIFA has shifted its usual amnesty for yellow cards from the end of the first round until after the quarterfinals instead.

Learn it from Diego

Nobody in Argentina's World Cup camp, not even Lionel Messi, takes a better free-kick than Diego Maradona.

Win to get through

Paraguay head into their clash with Slovakia in Bloemfontein on Sunday knowing a win would take them to the brink of qualification for the second round.

All Whites warn Azzurri

The Italians proclaim defeat is unthinkable but the New Zealand All Whites are planning to give the defending champions a run for their money at the World Cup on Sunday.

Press fleece 'woeful' Three Lions

British newspapers were scathing Saturday about England's lacklustre performance in the 0-0 World Cup draw with Algeria, with striker Wayne Rooney's form causing particular concern.

Drogba may start

Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has hinted star striker Didier Drogba could start against Brazil in their Group G clash on Sunday.

Kallis joins 11,000 club

Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers reach personal landmarks as South Africa continued to plunder easy runs against West Indies in the second Test here on Saturday.

Upsets upend fighting US

Highflying German confidence took an unexpected tumble, England's haphazard showing got worse, while the never-say-die Americans proved their mettle once again on a day when referees caught more of the attention than football or its quality.

This year is Latin's

If there is a trend to be taken early on in the World Cup it is that the Europeans are struggling and the South Americans are thriving.

India knock out Pakistan

Harbhajan Singh smashed the penultimate ball from Mohammad Aamer for a six as India knocked Pakistan out of the Asia Cup with a three-wicket win on Saturday.

Collapse baffles Siddons

Two middle-order collapses in Dambulla have handed Bangladesh an all-too-common early exit from a big tournament. Just when they manage to sort one piece of the puzzle, another one pops out of place. Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim were their regular firefighters, rescuing them when top-order failures were the norm early this year, but with Tamim Iqbal now tapping into a rich vein of form and providing robust starts, the others are fumbling.

Nothing's in a name

Some days, it doesn't pay to be a favourite at the World Cup.

Anelka kicked out of squad

France striker Nicolas Anelka was kicked out of the World Cup on Saturday after reportedly launching a tirade of abuse at coach Raymond Domenech, the French Football Federation (FFF) said.

MSC keep winning

Giants Mohammedan Sporting Club kept their winning run going with a comprehensive 5-0 win over Sadharan Bima at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

F'pool dump Wanderers

Yougmen's Fakirerpool Club beat Dhaka Wanderers Club 3-2 in their Senior Division League encounter at the Bir Shrestha Sepoy Mostofa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

World Cup One Twos

MALIAN REF FACING PROBE
Malian referee Koman Coulibaly, the subject of vicious attacks in the US media after disallowing a late goal by USA in their 2-2 draw with Slovenia, could be asked to face FIFA's refereeing committee to explain his decision.

Business

Muhith defends tax burden

Finance Minister AMA Muhith said yesterday people must get used to paying more taxes on domestic production and wealth to help the government raise resources to invest in public welfare.

New duty to hurt dairy industry

The new duty structure proposed for imported agro-processed foods and powdered milk will affect the growing dairy and food processing industry, said a leading business in the sector in its reaction to the new budget.

Transshipment to start soon

The government has sped up efforts to start transshipment soon, allowing Indian goods to be transported to Tripura through Ashuganj port, said an adviser to the prime minister yesterday.

Facebook revenue nears $800m

Facebook's financial performance is stronger than previously believed, as the internet social network's explosive growth in users and advertisers boosted 2009 revenue to as much as $800 million, according to two sources familiar with the situation.

More budgetary allocation for women development demanded

Allocation for women development issues to different ministries has been reduced in the proposed budget for fiscal 2010-11, compared to the outgoing fiscal year, a discussion in Dhaka was told yesterday.

FBCCI should have more clout

The Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBBCI) has bagged success in building infrastructure and capacity for different chambers and associations across the country, says the outgoing president of the apex trade body.

The budget makers' dilemma

The national budget exercise is an annual chore that takes up almost one-sixth of a full year's productive labour of the finance and planning ministries and related government agencies. No doubt it is a costly endeavour but one that no government apparatus can do without.

Listed companies demand withdrawal of share tax

The listed companies have urged the government to withdraw the proposed tax on premium value of shares.

Budget unrealistic: Jamaat

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday described the proposed budget for 2010-11 as anti-people and ambitious.

Local govt bodies seek direct fund

The government should allow the union parishads (UP) to have budgetary allocations directly and execute development work independently, speakers said at a seminar in Dhaka yesterday.

BoI registers 2,249 investment proposals: Industries minister

Proposals for setting up 2,249 industries were registered with the Board of Investment (BoI) in the last 17 months up to March with an estimated investment of Tk 362.63 billion, Industries Minister Dilip Barua told the House yesterday.

Partner blames BP as spill costs grow

BP Plc's costs for the worst spill in US history appeared set to rise as a partner in the out-of-control well laid the blame at BP's feet and the new federal czar overseeing damage claims said BP would pay more if $20 billion was not enough.

Apple shares hit all-time high of $275

Apple shares hit an all-time high on Wall Street on Friday at the end of a week during which the tech firm said it sold a single-day record number of iPhones.

Gold strikes record high

The price of gold surged to an all-time high point above $1,262, oil futures rebounded and coffee struck multi-month peaks in a positive week for commodities.

American KKR to buy Japanese employment recruitment firm

US investment fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. said it would buy Japanese cable broadcaster Usen's recruitment services unit for 32.5 billion yen, or approximately $356 million.

Weekly Currency Roundup

June 13-17,2010
International Markets
This week saw a strong bounce in the euro. The euro hit a three-week high versus the dollar on Thursday as worries about Spain's public finances were eased by a well covered bond auction, triggering stop-losses on stale short positions in the single currency.

G20 must strengthen economic recovery: Obama

US President Barack Obama has urged the world's leading economies to boost reforms aimed at maintaining the global recovery, ahead of two key summits next week.

Danone joins forces with Russia's Unimilk

French food giant Danone and Russia's Unimilk announced on Friday they were combining their fresh milk interests in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

China central bank to further promote currency reform

China's central bank said yesterday it would further promote reform of its exchange rate mechanism.

Italian banks criticise bank tax plan

The association representing Italian banks on Friday criticised an EU plan to introduce bank levies, saying the measure might tighten credit for families and businesses and hurt the economy as a whole.

Metropolitan

Bangladesh on Macau visa restriction list

The Macau government included Bangladesh in the list of visa restriction although Bangladeshis are not involved in any major crime.

Call to raise awareness about thalassaemia

A seminar on thalassaemia, an inherited condition affecting blood, was held at The Daily Star office in the city yesterday with a call to raise awareness about the disease.

Coordinated efforts a must to implement RTI law

Ensuring open and timely access to information will help stop corruption, improve governance and increase accountability and transparency, speakers at a consultation meeting said yesterday.

Environmentalists protest confusing remarks on DAP

Environmentalists and professionals yesterday protested the confusing statements about detailed area plan (DAP) and audacious behaviour of some developers towards teachers and other professionals.

Experts' meet in Nepal on June 23

In the run-up to the meeting of the head of states of the Global Tiger Initiative (GTI) in Russia in September, a preparatory meeting of experts group will be held in Nepal on June 23.

'Razakar' in FFs' list!

Freedom fighters yesterday demanded exclusion of the names of fake freedom fighters from the list published by the Liberation War Affairs Ministry last month.

Betar Bangla becomes first 24-hr Bangla radio in UK

Betar Bangla, a community radio station, has received licence from the British media regulator, Ofcom, to broadcast its programmes in the UK 24 hours a day, says a press release.

People turn against 'fascist' govt thru' CCC polls: Fakhrul

BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said people have turned against the present 'fascist' government that reflected in the just concluded

College girl kills self

A student of Badrunessa Government Girls' College committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling with a scarf in her residence at Fakirerpool in the city yesterday.

Legal aid office to be set up in dists for poor litigants

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government is planning to set up legal aid offices in each district to help the poor and helpless litigants.

BNP protest today

Opposition BNP will hold demonstrations and bring out processions in the city as well as at the district and upazila headquarters today demanding trial of the “killing of journalists and protesting repression on them.”

Update law to protect intellectual property rights: Dilip Barua

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said the laws on Intellectual Property Rights

Poor service discourages train journey

Compared to global standards, the railway service in Bangladesh is very poor and it is even poorer in its eastern zone, although people prefer travelling by train.

Govt to ensure congenial atmosphere for journos

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad said here yesterday that the government is

Lead causes health hazard to 88pc people

The use of lead in dye causes health hazards to 88 percent people in the country.

Work unitedly to root out militancy: Tuku

State Minister for Home Advocate Shamsul Haque Tuku has said Jamaat-Shibir has been trying to create unstable situation by triggering and assisting religious militancy when the government has started trial process of the war criminals.

Call for proper use of budgetary allocations

Deputy Speaker Shawkat Ali yesterday urged all concerned to ensure proper use of allocations in budget for public welfare.

President leaves for London for checkup

President Zillur Rahman left Dhaka for London yesterday morning on a 10-day visit to the United Kingdom during which he will undergo medical checkup at Bupa Cromwell Hospital.

Three electrocuted

Three persons including two siblings died and two others suffered injuries from electrocution at Baluchhara on the outskirts of the port city last night.

National

Extortionists attack houses for refusal to pay illegal toll

Extortionists attacked houses of two traders in Chuadanga and Meherpur districts on Friday night after failing to realise toll from them.

Classes stopped indefinitely for want of fund for repair

The authorities of Shatibari Junior High School in Aditmari upazila of Lalmonirhat district have suspended classes for an indefinite period after a tornado damaged seven classrooms of the school.

Patients suffer as docs on strike in 2 districts

Indefinite strike by doctors at government hospitals and private clinics in Panchagarh and at Jessore General Hospital is causing immense sufferings to hundreds of patients.

RU students block highway

Students of Rajshahi University (RU) on Friday night blocked Dhaka-Rajshahi highway protesting attack on a student by an auto-rickshaw driver.

Elder brother of outlawed GMF chief arrested

Police arrested Sahidul Islam alias Mohon alias Mohon Huzur, elder brother of outlawed Gono Mukti Fouz (GMF) chief Aminul Islam Mukul from Benapole immigration in Jessore on Friday night.

2 drown in trawler capsize

Two people drowned as a trawler capsized in the Bamni River in Companiganj upazila yesterday.

Stone collection resumes

Extraction of stones from Bichhnakandi stone quarry in Gowainghat resumed yesterday after a fruitful meeting at the house of ruling party lawmaker Imran Ahmed Friday afternoon. The quarry labourers and traders stopped stone collection on June 5 protesting illegal toll collection by some organised groups. The meeting decided that the businessmen would pay only the genuine taxes and tolls, fixed by the government. Measures would be taken against the Illegal toll collectors, the lawmaker assured. Upazila chairman Abdul Hakim, vice-chairman Jamal uddin, UP chairmen Abul Kalam, Foizul Islam, Nurul Islam and leaders of stone quarry labourers also attended the meeting. About 20,000 labourers work in the big quarry along the border in Gowainghat upazila.

Mother, son electrocuted

A woman and her kid died from electrocution at Atitpur village in Barhatta upazila on Thursday afternoon. The deceased were identified as Tahera Khatun, 36, wife of Manu Miah and her son Robin, 12. Locals said, Robin while collecting floating dead fish from a nearby pond came in contact with a snapped live electric wire. Hearing his cry for help, his mother rushed to the spot and she also got electrocuted while trying to save him. They were rushed to the upazila health complex where the attending doctors declared them dead.

Housewife murdered

A housewife was killed allegedly by her husband at East Damodpur Burir Bhita village in Sadullapur upazila early Friday. The victim was identified as Shahida Begum, 33, wife of Phulmia of the village. On information, police rushed to the spot and sent the body that bore injury marks to hospital morgue for autopsy. Police quoting locals said Phulmia along with his family members beat her mercilessly following a family feud and later strangled her late at night. Police could not arrest anyone as Phulmia along with his family members went into hiding.

NUST reopens today

Noakhali University of Science and Technology (NUST) here will reopen today after remaining closed for 15 days in the wake of agitation by students. The authorities announced a 15-day summer vacation from June 2 as the students began agitation to press home their demands that include appointment of senior teachers, introduction of master's course and approval of pharmacy council. Meanwhile, students said that they would continue their agitation till realisation of their demands.

Stipends for students

A non-government organisation (NGO) at Chakhar has distributed stipends and crests among 18 meritorious students and those who achieved outstanding results in the Secondary School Certificate examination. Each of the students received Tk 2000 and a crest for their academic excellence. Habib-Shahzadi Foundation offered the incentives at a reception organised by Serve The People, an NGO, at the auditorium of the Fazlul Huq Institution in Chakhar on June 12. The reception was chaired by the foundation's President Begum Shahzadi while Principal of Chakhar Government Fazlul Huq College Aftabuddin was the chief guest.

Letters

Israeli aggression

We are deeply shocked by the news that the Israeli army boarded the Flotilla which was coming from Cyprus to Gaza carrying humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Israeli Defence Force (IDF) came on board the boats and killed at least 10 people who were bringing foods, medicines, and other essentials for the people of Gaza who are in dire need of those.

Education policy

This pertinent news, reported in all dailies on June 01, is an important achievement of the government. The significant fact is that education up to class eight will be free and compulsory! The idea of common public examinations at class five, eight, ten and twelve is also rational.

Re-designing rickshaw

May I echo Sikander Ahmed's request for the need of a newly-designed rickshaw to be on the streets? Like millions, I love the rickshaw - not only for its convenience and cheapness but the encouragement of a means of earning a living in a way that does not pollute the environment and responds to so many needs. Being able to see the sky overhead - oh, everything about it!

Adieu Bangladesh!

The other day in late afternoon, a friend of mine asked me whether I was free or not. As my answer was affirmative he requested me to join him in going to Elephant Road to collect spectacles for his son studying abroad in Japan. After arriving at the designated optician, we found that the spectacles were not ready yet to be delivered. So we had to wait for a while for the delivery.

Death on road

Ilyas Kanchan, a famous cine artiste, lost his wife in a tragic road accident. Since then he started a campaign for 'Safer road'. My friend Ekram Ahmed, a senior bureaucrat, lost his teenage son under the wheels of a speeding truck. Ekram is now a 'Safer road' activist. Comparing to the number of motorised vehicles, death toll in Bangladesh roads is the highest in the world. But this epidemic has little impact in our society. Sporadic clashes occur when any student or a garment employee is killed in such accidents but most of such deaths go unnoticed. In some incidents, cases are filed with police stations. But we have not heard of any punishment in any such cases. It appears that we have become used to such deaths. A few years back highway police was established but we don't find any improvement of the situation.

Begunbari tragedy

The recent incident of Begunnbari has shocked us all. It again proved that we are living in the unsafe concrete jungle. Rajuk is the top decision-making body which permits any owner to construct buildings in the DCC area. People are now claiming that this organisation doesn't carry out their responsibilities correctly.

An overdue progress

Your newspaper reported the Prime Minister being one of the first recipients of Machine Readable Passport (MRP) along with fourteen other citizens of the country. Ten of them are quite prominent citizens. The five unmentioned must be the labourers and students. The PM, her cabinet colleagues, the army chief, and the FBCCI president all receive special treatment at the airports. Nobody dare harass them in any airport - it's the poor labourers who suffer for lack of proper papers. Wouldn't it have sent a better signal if fifteen labourers and students were the first to receive the new passports? One can't help but notice that the implementation of this project has come not only late, but it's so late that the deadline for a new technology -- the e-passport or biometric passport -- is knocking on the door. According to ICAO regulations, the government will have to start issuing biometric passports from the year 2014.

Decentralisation

Begunbari and Nimtoli tragedy - both of the disasters were man-made. Unplanned urbanisation is the root cause of the disasters. What's the lesson that we get from the facts? Definitely decentralisation of Dhaka alongside industrial decentralisation.

Government organisations

It is lamentable that most of the government offices of Bangladesh are extremely bureaucratic and inefficient. Most of the government organisations lack the smooth systems needed to serve the general people effectively. Public services in these government offices invariably involve redundant paperwork and unnecessary hassles, which often make people unwilling to ask for their services. Moreover, government employees in most of these organisations are corrupt, rude, uncooperative and extremely inefficient. Instead of helping troubled people, these government employees generally push them into deeper troubles and take advantage of people's helplessness. There's no effective monitoring mechanism, and administrative responsibilities are often handled with utter negligence. General people are frequently harassed by the employees and illegal agents who are good at making money out of people's predicaments. Most of these government offices epitomise the endless mismanagement and exploitations that our public administration is known for.

The subcontinent

On 29-05-2010 I attended a seminar at CIRDAP auditorium arranged under the auspices of PDI Policies and Development Ideas. The keynote paper was read by Engr. TAM Nurul Basher. He described the political history of the subcontinent dating back thousand of years and the partition of India into two countries in 1947 and three countries in 1971. It is true that these partitions brought undue miseries to its citizens.

What is going on?

After the BTRC (Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission) had booted out many of the VOIP equipments terming these illegal and cancelling licenses of some telecom operators, it was heartening to note that Engr. Hasanul Haque Inu, Chairman of Parliamentary Committee, came out boldly stating that the govt. would adopt an open door policy in telecom sector and some 3,000 operators will be given licenses to operate VoIP. This was a relief to people who understand and operate telecom business.

Break the silence

Road accidents, building collapse, fire disaster, etc, are becoming regular incidents. Most of the incidents are happening for lack of our consciousness. Apart from this, our government could not take any fair steps regarding these incidents. Whom will we blame? How long would we remain silent?

Press freedom

The government cancelled the declaration of Amar Desh, a Bangla daily, on 1 June--stating that it has no authorised publisher.

Poverty

Poverty is the greatest problem facing humanity. Poverty has been defined as being "a punishment for a crime you didn't commit." Millions of children around the world are being punished every day - and their only "crime" was being born into poverty. While most children cry to buy toys or their favourite junk food, disadvantaged children beg to live. Their only concern is surviving each day as it comes.

Double standard

Flouting the international opinion and all norms of humanity, Israeli soldiers killed 9 unarmed innocent peace activists in the international maritime territory while they were on the way to Gaza with humanitarian aid on 31 May 2010. This audacity and boastful aggression has been denounced worldwide. But the saddest part of it is that the USA has failed to understand and evaluate the world sentiment. It has once again failed to denounce the fiend Israeli despot and interposed in taking a lenient resolution in the security council of the UN.

Land grabbing

The recent reports published in some national Bangla dailies regarding encroachments of land at various points of the Cox's Bazar sea beach are very disturbing. Experience tells us that once such process starts it goes on unabated and some government functionaries responsible for protecting public assets also join hands with the unscrupulous grabbers and create different excuses to support them. The euphemisms for such activities may be joint ventures for development, public-private enterprise and the like. I hope the media and concerned citizens will come forward and voice their opposition to snapping up of land by wealthy rapacious land grabbers in collusion with dishonest public servants and force the government to take appropriate steps to protect the longest sea beach of the world, one of our national treasures.

Branding Bangladesh

Nowadays, "Branding Bangladesh" seems to be buzzing quite a lot- seminars, round-tables, and other events. I am not against what's going on because at least we are talking, which also means thinking.

International

Blackwater gets Afghan security contract

The US State department has awarded the US Training Centre, a business unit of the Moyock, which was formerly known as Blackwater Worldwide, a contract worth more than 120 million dollars for providing security services in Afghanistan.

UN and US urge Suu Kyi's release

The United Nations and United States have renewed their calls for Myanmar's military rulers to release detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi as the Nobel peace laureate marks her 65th birthday under house arrest.

UN launches Kyrgyzstan aid appeal

The United Nations has appealed for $71 million in humanitarian aid for Kyrgyzstan, where more than 400,000 people have been displaced by deadly fighting.

Congress marks Rahul Gandhi's 40th birthday

The Congress in Uttar Pradesh yesterday took out marches and organised blood-donation camps, besides distributing sweets, fruits and medicines amongst the poor on the occasion of party general secretary Rahul Gandhi's 40th birthday.

Partner accuses BP of 'misconduct’

BP's partner in its damaged, gushing oil well in the Gulf of Mexico has accused the UK-based energy company of "gross negligence and wilful misconduct".

Sweden prepares for fairytale royal wedding

Sweden's future queen Crown Princess Victoria was set to wed her former personal trainer in one of the largest public celebrations ever organised in Stockholm.

Mehsud ordered Benazir's assassination

Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has held the killed Taliban chieftain Baitullah Mehsud responsible for the assassination of former Prime Benazir Bhutto.

US drone attack kills 13 in Pakistan

A missile, suspected to have been fired by an unmanned US drone, is reported to have killed 13 people and wounded seven others after it struck a house in the Mir Ali area of Pakistan's North Waziristan.

Indian govt to re-examines Bhopal gas disaster

A group of senior Indian government ministers who have been asked to re-examine the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster have held their first meeting.

Hillary to visit Pakistan in July

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Pakistan in July, her counterpart in Islamabad said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Singing of Nazrul in music and dance

The two-day long Sufia Kamal Smarok Nazrul Utsab 1417 opened at the main auditorium of Chhayanaut Sangeet Bidyayatan on June 18. Nazrul researcher Asadul Haque inaugurated the festival. Performances of Nazrul Sangeet by the artistes of Chhayanaut were the highlight of the first session of the festival.

A theatrical ode to Shah Abdul Karim

Theatre troupe Subachan Natya Sangsad premiered its 33rd production “Mahajoner Nao” at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on June 18. Written by Shakoor Majid, the play is directed and designed by Sudip Chakraborty.

Boman Irani sings along

Boman Irani may have wowed you with his acting prowess but he now wants to impress you in a new role--that of a playback singer.

Art enthusiasts celebrate monsoon

Bangladesh Arts Council organised a three-day long festival, titled “Barsha Boron 1417,” to welcome the season of monsoon at Gulshan-2, Dhaka. The festival began on June 17 and ended yesterday. The programme featured discussion, art exhibition and cultural programme. The event, showcased the work of over 40 emerging artists.

SD Burman: The inimitable composer

"Sun Mere Bandhure" and "Baro Bhalo Laage, Biroho Baro Bhalo Laage" , the enchanting tunes of the Maestro Sachin Dev Burman resonate in the hearts of music lovers even 35 years after his death. Clad in his signature dhoti and kurta, the great composer's creative and modern outlook to music changed the contours of sub-continental Indian music. A musical genius, he continues to mesmerise us with his haunting voice, with a rendition of folk- like Bengali songs as well as Hindi film songs.

Citizens recall filmmaker Badal Rahman

Federation of Film Societies of Bangladesh (FFSB) in association with Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) arranged a condolence programme on the recently deceased filmmaker Badal Rahman at the Seminar Hall, BSA, on June 18. Rahman's colleagues and fellow film activists as well as eminent personalities from other sectors reminisced on the life and work of the first ever children's filmmaker of the country.

OP-ED

CCC elections: Eye-opener for megalomaniacs

WE are familiar with the adage that courtesy costs nothing but buys everything. We now have to come to terms with a new saying which should be read as: Audacity buys nothing but costs everything.

Death of polity

DEMOCRATIC polity in India was again exposed when details of the Bhopal gas tragedy came out. There was a nexus between the judiciary, the executive and the bureaucracy. All the three joined hands to let chairman Warren Anderson of Union Carbide, the company which owned the gas plant, escape from India. They also scaled down the compensation that the company had offered and delayed the court judgment by 26 years.

The things that could have saved Sohrab

JUNE 20 has always been a special day in my life on account of it, being my parents' marriage anniversary. The day is even more significant this year because it is their thirty-fifth such occasion. Way to go Zakers -- you have produced two wonderful children of whom I am sure you're mighty proud (I know I almost am!).

For a face in that empty space

DEAR Father: Today is father's day and it would have been nice if I had actually known you. Today is the day we celebrate your existence, love and support, of which I am yet to experience. I wish I could have painted a picture of us holding hands at school today. But how to paint a picture of a person I have never seen? Today is father's day, a joyous day, but there are only tears and anger flooding through my mind.

The rise of Manjur Alam

YOU cannot begin to speak of the Chittagong mayoral election without taking note of the contributions of those who have made its outcome possible. Much as a joint secretary general of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party would like to under-emphasise the role of the Election Commission in the conduct of the election, the unalterable truth is that Chief Election Commissioner ATM Shamsul Huda and his team have convinced the nation that, on their watch, the people of Bangladesh can be privy to free and fair elections. They did it in December 2008. And they have done it again, in Chittagong. These are men we need if democracy is really to dig deeper roots in this country.



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