The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 1, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 4th of August, 2010

Front Page

Luggage land in Shahjalal mess

Mishandling of luggage, coupled with harassment, has become almost a regular part of passengers' itineraries at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.

Khaleda helpful, mates critical

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has asked standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy to continue organisational activities, and assured him of taking steps regarding his reported resentment over a party matter, party insiders said yesterday.

Punishment stays for errant realtors

A parliamentary body yesterday turned down its sub-committee's recommendation for scrapping the proposed real estate law's provision for jail sentences to realtors developing and advertising projects without approval.

EC flip-flops on own law

Breaching the law on political parties' registration, the Election Commission yesterday decided to give ruling Awami League and 16 other political parties two more months to submit their financial transaction reports.

1,446 sued, 20 students sent to jail

Twenty students were sent to jail here yesterday in two separate cases filed in connection with the Monday's violent clash and vandalism at Chittagong University.

JS body for inclusion of environment clauses

The parliamentary standing committee on forests and environment ministry decided yesterday to propose inclusion of three clauses in the constitution, for safeguard and improvement of the environment.

Unrest rolls into 5th day

Sporadic violence marked the fifth day of ready-made garment industry unrest yesterday as angry workers took to the streets over an announced pay hike they say is still too low.

Govt borrows nothing, repays bank loans

For the first time, the government in last fiscal year did not borrow from banks rather it repaid previous loans, thanks to a huge sale of savings instrument.

Janata Tower to become first software park

All is set to turn the abandoned and much talked about 11-storey Janata Tower at the capital's Karwan Bazar into the country's first software park.

Ethnic violence in Karachi kills 45

Political and ethnic violence erupted in Pakistan's largest city of Karachi after the murder of a lawmaker, killing 45 people as protestors torched vehicles and shops, officials said yesterday.

Relocate warehouses of risky chemicals

Industries Minister Dilip Barua yesterday said the government would not tolerate coexistence of risky chemicals with people after August 17.

Wife murdered for carrying baby girl

A six-month pregnant woman was allegedly killed by her husband and in-laws in the capital's Jatrabari early yesterday as she was about to give birth to a girl and denied to give dowry.

23 eminent citizens for Tk 5,000 RMG wage

Twenty-three eminent citizens of the country demanded yesterday to fix Tk 5,000 as minimum wage for garment workers, release of arrested workers and withdrawal of false cases filed against them.

2 outlaws killed in gunfight

Two regional leaders of Biplobi Communist Party (BCP), an outlawed organisation, were killed in a “factional gunfight” at Bhatsala in Pangsha upazila of Rajbari early yesterday.

Illegal part of Ramna restaurant demolished

Public Works Department (PWD) yesterday demolished 'illegal' portion of Ramna Chinese and Thai Food Restaurant at Ramna Park in the capital and evicted its incumbent owner.

CID gets two more months to probe

A Dhaka court yesterday granted two more months to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to complete the investigation into one of the two cases filed for the August 21 grenade attacks on an Awami League rally in 2004.

Faisal Morshed acquitted in another case

The High Court yesterday in a verdict acquitted Faisal Morshed Khan, son of former BNP foreign minister M Morshed Khan, of a corruption case in which he was earlier convicted and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.

Factory fined for noise pollution

The Department of Environment (DoE) fined a factory at Ring Road, Shyamoli in the capital Tk 40,000 for creating noise pollution in a residential area.

Carjackers held with 6 stolen cars

Detectives arrested three carjackers in Narayanganj and recovered six stolen private cars from their possession yesterday and the day before yesterday.

Reckless driving takes another life in city

Rash driving has claimed yet another life in the city. A passenger bus hit a woman killing her on the spot on Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Jatrabari yesterday evening.

Muhith rules out waiving taxes for pvt universities

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday ruled out waiving 15 percent income tax and other taxes of private universities in this fiscal year.

Taliban attack Afghan's main US base

A Taliban suicide squad armed with bombs and rockets attacked the largest US military base in southern Afghanistan yesterday, sparking an hour-long gun battle, officials said.

Thai finalises key military reshuffle

Thailand's government said yesterday it had forwarded a key military reshuffle list to the king for approval, but denied it was rewarding generals for their role in crushing opposition protests.

Editorial

Religion-based political parties

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's categorical statement to her cabinet colleagues that her government has no intention of banning region-based political parties should set at rest all speculation about it in the wake of the HC's invalidation of the fifth amendment. What particularly strikes a responsive chord in all right-thinking people keeping welfare of the nation upper most in their mind is her reasoning behind her decision. Her argument is that if banned, politics of such denomination would go underground. She sagaciously visualises that when driven underground such politics could acquire all clandestine implications with portents for wreaking havoc on national psyche, let alone fuelling militancy.

Clashes in Chittagong University

The student-police clash at Chittagong University was most unwarranted. The violence, which erupted between the police and the agitating students, who were protesting the hike in tuition fees, appears to us a matter of administrative failure too. A large number of students and policemen have suffered injuries, apart from the fact that several vehicles were also damaged during the clash. Understandably, the situation came to such a violent state after the police intercepted a student procession in the campus.

Sports

Relegation fears irk minnows

All the giants of the professional football league have already brought their respective squads in good shape, having ensured the services of country's top booters, leaving the lightweights worried about their ability to form squads that will be able to avoid relegation.

SL stack up the runs

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara top-scored with 75 as the hosts prospered against an untidy Indian attack on the opening day of the third and final Test on Tuesday.

Focus on bowlers

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has called up twenty-one cricketers for a conditioning camp that will start from today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Another record falls for Sachin

Milestone man Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday became the most-capped Test cricketer in the world after taking field for his 169th match, the third and final of the ongoing series against Sri Lanka, at the P Sara Oval in Colombo.

BCF lodges GD against traffickers

The Bangladesh Chess Federation lodged a general diary on Sunday to the Paltan Police Station seeking legal action against alleged human trafficking to Malaysia in the name of chess.

Flintoff ruled out for season

England star Andrew Flintoff has been ruled out of competition for the rest of the season by his county Lancashire as he struggles to recover following knee surgery.

England keep same team

Having emphatically completed a 354-run victory against Pakistan in the first Test, England have stuck with the men who delivered the job and named an unchanged squad for the second match, which begins on Friday at Edgbaston.

Champions draw with Wari

Champions Fakirerpool Young-men's Club played out a 2-2 draw against Wari Club in the lone super league match of the Bashundhara Metropolis Senior Division Football at the Bir Shreshtha Shaheed Sepoy Mohammad Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Baggio eyes Italy role

Roberto Baggio, one of Italy's finest ever players, is set to return to football, joining Italy's football federation (FIGC) after the national team's disastrous exit from the World Cup, the local press reported on Tuesday.

Several bids for Reds

Chinese businessman Kenny Huang is one of "several" potential buyers to submit a bid to buy Liverpool, club chairman Martin Broughton revealed on Tuesday.

Red Bulls sign Marquez

Mexican captain and two-time Champions League winning defender Rafael Marquez signed a multi-year deal on Monday with the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer, the team announced.

Masche rejects revolt

Javier Mascherano has rejected claims that Diego Maradona was forced out of the Argentina job by player power, insisting the former boss had the full respect of his squad.

Greece to copy Spain

New Greece coach Fernando Santos said Tuesday that he intends to copy the style of play used by World Cup winners Spain.

Sol slams Magpies fans

Sol Campbell has slammed the "pathetic" Newcastle fans who criticised his fitness after the former England defender was photographed looking overweight.

Ramires close to Chelsea move

Chelsea's move to sign Brazilian midfielder Ramires for around £18.2 million is edging closer as he is reportedly having a medical at Stamford Bridge.

Kalou warns Man City

Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou on Tuesday warned rivals Manchester City that their spending spree will not guarantee them the Premier League title.

Elephants fail to keep Sven

Ivory Coast have failed to persuade Sven-Goran Eriksson to stay on as coach after being unable to agree on a salary, the African country's soccer federation said.

World Cup finalists fined

Both World Cup finalists, Netherlands and Spain, have been fined by FIFA for their behaviour in the showpiece match on July 11.

Flower sure of Anderson bloom

England coach Andy Flower insists James Anderson can be a force during the forthcoming tour of Australia even if conditions are not exactly to the swing specialist's liking.

Nalbandian's winning return

Former world number three David Nalbandian made an impressive ATP return Monday after being out since April with a left hamstring injury, beating Rajeev Ram 6-4, 6-0 at the Washington Classic.

Roddick ready to rebound

Andy Roddick is finding his form after being knocked-out in the fourth round at Wimbledon, the ninth-ranked US star bolstered by a solid workout on Monday ahead of his opener at the ATP Washington Classic.

Serena, Justine lead field

Reigning Australian Open champion Serena Williams and Belgian champion Justine Henin head an impressive list of talent for the mixed teams Hopman Cup next January.

Maicon's agent angry at Real

The agent of Inter Milan defender Maicon met with Real Madrid on Monday night but emerged from the transfer summit angered by the Spanish club's attitude.

Ben Haim joins West Ham

Portsmouth defender Tal Ben Haim has been loaned to Premier League rivals West Ham until January, the two clubs announced on Tuesday.

Spider Hands ends int'l career

Veteran South Korea goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae is set to end his international career after playing 130 games for his country, local media reported on Tuesday.

Bielsa extends with Chile

Marcelo Bielsa has agreed to extend his contract as Chile coach until the 2015 Copa America tournament, the Chilean Football Federation (ANFP) announced late Monday.

Business

Blame game muddies sugar speculation

Consumers cannot buy sugar at the price set by the refiners and millers last week -- but the commerce minister says it is up to the people to protest against grocers who hiked the price, expecting a pre-Ramadan surge in demand.

More Grameenphone to come, later

Grameenphone shares sold nine months ago to pre-IPO institutional investors -- worth Tk 18.3 crore at yesterday's price -- will only trade in the secondary market starting on October 28, the Securities and Exchange Commission confirmed yesterday.

Job site plans to widen reach

Bangladesh's first online job portal bdjobs.com plans to strengthen its efforts to help more local professionals take up international jobs.

BB builds Tk 665cr SME fund

Bangladesh Bank has created a Tk 665 crore ($95 million) fund for providing loans to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at low interest.

Central bank chief's slight irks DSE

The country's prime bourse has expressed dissatisfaction over the central bank governor's negative comments on the stockmarket.

Motorola launches 4 handsets

Global mobile maker Motorola launched four new entry-level mobile devices of its MOTO WX series on Sunday in Bangladesh.

No immediate plans to ban wheat imports: India

The Indian government has no immediate plans to ban imports of wheat by private millers, junior farm minister KV Thoamas told parliament on Tuesday.

Malls to stay off-grid during Iftar, Tarabi

Shop owners yesterday agreed with the government plan not to use electricity from the grid at the time of Iftar and Tarabi during the month of Ramadan.

Google phones gaining ground in US smartphone market

Smartphones running on Google-backed Android software are gaining ground in a hot US market, according to figures released Monday by industry-tracker Nielsen Company.

KFC unveils Ramadan offer

KFC, an international fast-food chain, added Toasted Twister to its menu yesterday, as part of a Ramadan offer.

Commward set for Saturday

The second Commward is set to recognise and reward creativity and innovations for effective communications in advertising.

Corporate stress

A condolence message in The Daily Star mentioned, Altaf Karim, the regional compliance officer of a European multinational in Bangladesh, died of cardiac arrest recently at the city's United Hospital. He was only 49. I knew Altaf Karim since early nineties -- an extremely polite professional and a God-fearing person. He used to work for the company's finance and treasury functions. This ever-smiling person, Altaf bhai, was doing a great job, always going beyond the boxes to serve his company's interest to the highest possible level. I even didn't know that he was transferred to compliance division. No doubt, Altaf was the best person to handle a long laundry list of duties. But again, it was a tough, unpleasant and possibly a thankless job, in a country where 'right and wrong' is interpreted in many ways or in a company, which faced reputation issues in the recent past. Altaf Karim might have some health complications. However, I feel stress also had a significant role to play here.

India's cities grow fast, develop slowly

It happens every year. When monsoon rains lash Mumbai, the city turns into a cesspool, which along with its potholed roads and gridlocked traffic, mocks its ambition of becoming a global financial centre.

British regulator fines RBS bank 5.6m pounds

The British regulator, the Financial Services Authority, said on Tuesday that it had fined the state-controlled Royal Bank of Scotland 5.6 million pounds for lax money laundering controls.

BMW profit leaps seven-fold in Q2

Second-quarter results released Tuesday by German luxury car maker BMW underscored the change in fortunes seen by high end auto groups in the past year, with a net profit that was seven times stronger.

Pfizer profit, sales beat expectations

Pfizer Inc reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue, and the world's biggest drugmaker said its full-year profit will be at top end of its prior view as savings accrue from its recent merger with Wyeth.

South Korean regulators give go-ahead to iPhone4

Regulators Tuesday authorised the sale of Apple's iPhone 4 in the lucrative South Korean market, after the firm's decision last month to delay sales in the country upset consumers.

Deutsche Post gets global trade pick-up

The world's leading logistics group, Deutsche Post, posted earnings Tuesday that benefited from restructuring and the pick-up in global activity, and raised its full-year outlook.

Oil rises

Oil prices edged up in Asian trade on Tuesday, staying above 80 dollars due to improved market sentiment, analysts said.

CBC top brass in town

MJC Amarasuriya, chairman of Commercial Bank of Ceylon (CBC), is in Dhaka now on a three-day visit, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

Corporate Briefs

RELIANCE INSURANCE
The insurer in its unaudited half yearly accounts until June 30 reported net profit of Tk 99.45 million with earnings per share (EPS) of Tk 32.69 against Tk 53.98 million and Tk 17.74 (restated) respectively for the same period of the previous year. Net profit was Tk 43.19 million with EPS of Tk 14.20 for the period of three months to June 30 against Tk 7.59 million and Tk 2.49 (restated) respectively for the same a-year-ago period.

Metropolitan

'City's air pollution level three to four times higher than national standard'

Though the gaseous pollutants have reduced than before, the capital's air pollution level round the year remains three to four times higher than the national standard.

Call for effective implementation of environmental policies

The government should focus more on effective implementation of existing environmental policies rather than making new ones, urged a national seminar yesterday.

New British passport service arrangements

The UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office is reorganising the way it deals with passport applications as part of a plan to issue British passports in a more efficient and secure way.

Check child malnourishment for healthy nation

Child nutrition should get ample importance in order to build a healthy nation given almost half of the country's children are malnourished, health experts said at a meeting yesterday.

Integrate Dalits into mainstream

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday urged the government to integrate the Dalit and Harijan community into the mainstream of the society.

BNP protest in city tomorrow

BNP will hold a rally tomorrow at the capital's Muktangon protesting the remark of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina about the main Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia and filing cases against the party leaders including its Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain.

Montu Ghosh on 11-day remand

A Dhaka court yesterday placed Advocate Montu Ghosh, adviser of the Garment Sramik Trade Union Kendra, on an 11-day remand in connection with five cases filed on charge of creating unrest in the readymade garment sector.

Delwar, two other BNP leaders sued

A former Bogra BCL leader filed a case yesterday accusing three central leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) for giving death threat to the prime minister.

Online gate pass for sectt visitors

The finance division and home ministry are scheduled to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) today in a bid to provide gate pass online for the visitors to secretariat, says a press release.

BCSIR okays 6 arsenic removal technologies

Six Arsenic Removal Technologies have been approved for sale in the country by the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR) for the first time to help ensure pure drinking water for the people, says a press release.

Remove illegal structures from city canals

Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday came down heavily upon Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Wasa) for its negligence and failure to preserve the canals of the city and giving way to illegal occupation.

Build integrated rail link to cut road crashes

Speakers at a human chain programme yesterday called for building integrated rail communication system in the country in order to reduce road accidents as well as reducing transportation costs and environmental pollution.

Ecnec decides to probe irregularities

Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved three development projects involving Tk 283 crore, including a revised road construction project cost to Tk 214 crore from Tk 95 crore.

Arrest warrant against 4 top Jamaat leaders

The International Crimes Tribunal has issued warrant of arrest against four top Jamaat-e-Islami leaders in accordance with law, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said yesterday.

Community radio to help curb graft

The community radio would help increase accountability of local administration and reduce corruption and poverty from the society, speakers said at a roundtable yesterday.

FM seeks ODA in dev efforts

Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni yesterday deplored the newer barriers raised by some developed countries against flow of goods, services and people from the developing world.

Acting JMB chief on 4-day remand

A Dhaka court yesterday placed acting chief of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Anwar Alam, also known as Nazmul and Bhagne Shahid, on a four-day remand in connection with a case on an attempt on life of Prof Humayun Azad.

Moves on to bring back fugitive killers of Bangabandhu

Police initiatives are underway to bring back remaining six fugitive killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as most of them were traced down under Interpol vigil and manhunts through diplomatic channels. Five of their fellow convicts were hanged in January this year.

BCAS project wins int'l award

A project of Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) was awarded the first prize in the category of medium size organisation for the year 2010 by the Flora Family Foundation of USA, says a press release.

$95m US help for poor

The United States will provide $95 million to empower the ultra poor and improve health and nutrition of women and children in Khulna and Barisal divisions in the next five years.

Dhaka Sector Commander of BDR sued

A case was filed against Dhaka Sector Commander Aziz Ahammed of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and six others on charges of grabbing a land and assaulting the complainant and other residents of the land in the city.

National

Fat salary cheques for two teachers

An additional amount of Tk 64 thousand was deposited as government salary in the bank accounts of two primary schoolteachers in Pabna during the last one year.

Afghan war returnee held in Satkhira

An activist of Jamaat Debhata upazila unit was arrested yesterday while seven leaders and activists of Jamaat and Shibir, arrested on July 17 in Sadar upazila, were taken on a three-day remand the same day.

Another Allar Dal member caught in police dragnet

Police arrested another member of Islamist outfit Allar Dal yesterday from the district jail gate as he came to visit his fellows.

Students lock principal's office, clasrooms

Students of Gaibandha Agriculture Training Institute yesterday locked the principal's office and classrooms for about an hour protesting debacle in the third semester practical examination.

40 hurt as BCL factions clash in Patuakhali

At least 40 people ncluding four policemen were injured as two factions of Chhatra League (BCL) locked in clashes in Kalapara upazila town yesterday over trivial matters.

BCL-Shibir clash leaves 10 injured

At least 10 students were injured as Chhatra League (BCL) and Shibir activists clashed at Noakhali Science and Technology University yesterday.

Student's death sparks protest

Death of a college student in a road accident sparked protest at Borhanuddin in Lalmohan upazila on Monday.

All on suspicion

A jute mill worker tied two hapless boys to a tree and beat them severely, suspecting their involvement in the theft of his cellphone at Damodar village under Phultala upazila of Khulna district on Monday.

BDR, BSF for peace along Sylhet borders

Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and Indian Border Security Force (BSF) at a battalion commander-level meeting at Dauki (opposite to Tamabil border) in the Indian state of Meghalaya yesterday agreed to maintain peace in border areas of Sylhet.

Two beaten to death

Two suspected robbers were beaten to death by a mob in Sadar upazila of Gazipur early yesterday. The deceased were identified as Moksed, 30, son of Mohammad Ali of Ashulia area in the capital and Sujan, 25, son of Tofazzal Hossain of Dinajpur. Sources said, an armed gang entered the house of Abul Hossain breaking open the door at midnight in Nesipara area. The house owner informed the matter to some neighbours over cell phone. The villagers rushed to the scene and chased the criminals and at one stage managed to catch Moksed and Sujan. The angry villagers gave them a good thrashing, leaving them dead on the spot.

BSF hands over 2 girls

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) handed over two Bangladeshi young girls, who were trafficked to India, to Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) through Benapole check post yesterday afternoon. The returnees are Parvin Begum, 15, of Morelganj, Bagerhat and Rebeka Khatun, 16, of Sadar upazila, Satkhira. BDR sources said, some brokers trafficked Parvin and Rebeka to India through Benapole border on February 15, 2009, promising to give them good jobs there. Kolkata police rescued them from Shealdah railway station and sent them to jail. Rights Jessore, a human rights organisation brought them back after they were informed by an NGO named A R Z International on February 26 this year.

Two killed in Bogra

Two labourers died from poisonous gas while cleaning a septic tank at a residential building in the municipal area of Kahalu upazila on Monday morning. The deceased were identified as Azhar Ali, 45, and Shafiqul Islam, 25, of the area. Sources said, three men went to clean a safety tank at about 10am at the building at Sajatia. As Shafiqul entered the tank he fell unconscious. At this two other cleaners got into the tank to rescue Shafiqul but Azhar met the same fate while Gafur became sick due to gas poisoning. Officer-in-charge (OC) of Kahalu police station said the two might have died of inhaling carbon monoxide (CO) gas inside the septic tank.

HSTU reopens today

Hajee Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) will reopen today after 34 days of closure. Earlier on Monday the university authorities unlocked the dormitories of the university for residential students. Meanwhile, the university authorities imposed a restriction on any sort of procession and rally on the campus. On June 30 last, the university was closed sine die following a series of incidents demanding withdrawal of punishment to 15 students. The students were punished for violating university disciplines.

Letters

Minimum RMG wage

It is commendable that the government has declared a minimum salary structure for our poor garment workers. But before we make a big deal out of this, there is something very important that we all need to remember: this is Bangladesh! We all know how things are done in Bangladesh, don't we?

Polythene bags

Garbage containing nearly 80 percent used plastic bags has become a major problem along the 840 miles of California coastline. Authorities are processing a bill to impose a ban on the single-use of plastic bags by grocery stores, pharmacies, etc. If the bill is passed in the Senate, paper bags will be given to the customers by shops at a cost of minimum five cents per bag. And most of these bags will be recycled. Good move indeed!

Death of a leader

I was a government employee who had some experience of working with Mr. Mannan Bhuyan in various capacities. On the other hand, Mannan Bhuyan was an influential minister for the Local Government and Secretary General of one of the major parties of the country. Yet he attained the stature beyond his political prowess which most of the leaders of present time lack.

VAT on education?

The decision of imposing 4.5% VAT on the private universities is a very wise decision of this government. Because in some cases, the owners of these institutions are making profit much higher than the industrialists (albeit most of them claim their organisations to be non-profit). These universities are taking tens of thousands of taka from the students as tuition fees (most of the time without showing any logical reason).They increase their tuition fees now and then without any permission from UGC or relevant authorities. So it is not VAT on education, rather VAT on business.

Assistant teacher recruitment

The written test for selection of candidates for the post of assistant teachers of government high schools was postponed due to the allegation of question paper leakage. It was reported that some BG Press employees and officials were involved in the leakage and a syndicate had long been involved in it. We hope the government would take tough action against the culprits so that no one in future thinks about it. However, the candidates for the post of assistant teachers of government high schools are now highly frustrated as the govt. has not yet fixed the fresh date for the exams. On the other hand, the govt. schools have been facing a lot of problems due to teacher shortage. At the very beginning of this year, the govt. ordered opening of double- shift classes in 80 schools at the district level. As there is shortage of teachers in those schools, the authorities of those schools started double shift classes only in the entry classes. Without recruiting an adequate number of teachers it is not possible to start double shift in all classes.

It's Biman again!

I agree with Biman's Managing Director because some people say that statistics is the trade of 'tricks' or 'treats' depending on the subject and on the audience looking at it. Regarding growth of air travel market in Bangladesh, the MD should have given some idea about the market growth, both for the local as well as overseas flights from Dhaka. Biman is the direct descendent of the erstwhile PIA, which was in those (East Pakistan) days, called “Perhaps. It Arrives”! It was surprising that the MD did not provide any breakdown data on market growth, to that extent his remarks were subjective!

On nuclear power

As a nuclear engineer, I appreciate Engr. S.A. Mansoor's promotion of Pebble Bed Reactors (PBRs) for heat or power generation (Dec. 13). It is one of the six concepts being investigated for Generation IV rectors (current reactors operating round the world being of the Generation II and III type). Generation IV reactors are not expected to be available for commercial operation before 2030.

Agitation and NSU

A report published in The Daily Star on 27 July entitled “Students block road, vandalize vehicles in city” stated that students of some specific private universities were involved in the road blocking and vandalism at Mohakhali area on 26 July to protest against VAT on tuition fees. The report specifically mentioned the names of some institutions quoting: “Students of North South University, East West University, American International University Bangladesh (AIUB), Brac University, Dhaka International University and other private universities took to the streets around 1:00pm demanding withdrawal of 4.5 percent VAT slapped on their tuition and other fees.”

VAT

We are being told that people from all walks of life are expressing their indignation due to imposition of VAT on different services. VAT, imposed even on education, resulted in a 5-hour jam on Mohakhali Uttara road on that day. It is pertinent that to broaden the tax net imposition of VAT is necessary. But the impact of tax burden on the people must be considered.

Mosque needs generator

As the electricity supply is not stable these days, mosques in the city are making alternative arrangements to keep the power supply steady during the holy month of Ramadan so that the devotees can offer Tarabi prayers comfortably. The Imam of Mohammadpur Jame Masjid for the last two weeks has been appealing for generous donations from devotees to help buy an electricity generator. Last Friday, after Jummah prayer, the Imam while appreciating the devotees' response had once again appealed for donations because the price of a generator was yet to be raised.

Judiciary

Suranjit Sengupta , Chief of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Law Ministry, at a press briefing at the Jatiya Sangsad media centre said the constitution of the country did not authorize the Chief Justice to evaluate the past of the judges who have been appointed. The Supreme Judicial Council and other bodies were there for this purpose.

Predictable unrest

I do not understand how our city police commissioner still has his job. On Thursday night our LGRD minister went on record warning of a possible RMG labour unrest due to the newly declared wages, yet we saw what happened on Friday morning. I mean in any other civilized country the Commissioner would have lost his job for failing to prevent the chaos in and around Gulshan. Moreover, he has gone on record saying none would be spared and so onafter the heavy losses suffered by businessmen.

Public transport or private car

Most people accuse the private cars of contributing to traffic jam but the question is whether public transport is a better alternative. The answer is definitely “NO” .the public buses are overcrowded , broken and dirty and the risk of losing something is always there. People often hang to the doors and getting in and getting down from the bus is really very hard. Whereas private cars are also cheaper now after the CNG conversion started . The comfort is always there and most importantly the turmoil in transportation compared to the public transport is minimum . Of course the cars are faster and safer as the commuters don't have to wait in the long queue.

Minimum wages

A big controversy is going on for the last few months about the wages of the garment workers. Only God knows when it will come to an end. The government has fixed it at Tk. 3,000. per month. To general public like me (not stakeholders in the sector), it is reasonable considering the pros and cons. I talked to many owners of garment industries and most of them vehemently oppose this minimum wage for different reasons. I agree with their point like our workers' efficiency is much less than others', bank interests are too high here, higher shipment costs with many uncertainties etc. But when I see the increase in minimum wages of Chinese workers to $140. (about Tk 10,000), Thailand's $ 70.00, Vietnam's $60.00 and Cambodia's $50.00, why are we afraid of paying only $40.00? If our workers' efficiency is less, then industry management must find out means to improve it and if they cannot, then they must not adjust their failure with the hard labour of workers. If our workers are best certified in Korea, Japan and Singapore, then why do garment industry owners here fail to make the best use of them?

Spurious medicines

It has been reported that spurious and time barred medicines are available in rural markets. These medicines are sold in grocery shops, even in tea stalls. The government must handle the matter with a sense of urgency as it has a great bearing on the lives of people.

International

Cameron insists no regrets

British Prime Minister David Cameron defended yesterday his warning about Pakistani support for terror, as President Asif Ali Zardari vowed to confront the charges head-on during a visit here.

Israel to co-operate with UN in probe

Israel has announced it will co-operate with a UN investigation into its raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May

Kashmir protests after deaths, despite govt warnings

Protesters in Indian Kashmir held angry rallies yesterday in defiance of a plea from the region's chief minister, as four more people died after clashes with security forces.

Nepal to hold fourth vote for new PM

Nepal's parliament will hold a fourth vote to try to elect a new prime minister, an official said yesterday, after the last election failed to produce a clear winner.

Rescuers aim to reach Pak flood victims

Rescue teams in northern Pakistan are battling to reach tens of thousands of people still cut off by floodwaters.

Coalition losing Afghan war: Zardari

Coalition forces "are losing the war against the Taliban" in Afghanistan, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said in an interview published in France yesterday.

US to attend Hiroshima atom bomb memorial

Sixty-five years after a mushroom cloud rose over Hiroshima, the United States will for the first time send an envoy this Friday to commemorate the bombing that rang in the nuclear age.

Lebanon, Israeli forces clash near border

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Saad Hariri yesterday slammed Israel's "aggression" against their country as Lebanese and Israeli troops exchanged fire along their tense border.

James Bond screenwriter dies

American screenwriter and director Tom Mankiewicz, whose credits included several James Bond films, has died from cancer at the age of 68.

Fidel Castro releases his book

Cuba's revolutionary leader Fidel Castro has released his book 'The Strategic Victory', a memoir of the victory of his rebel forces against the country's dictator Fulgencio Batista in 1959.

Arts & Entertainment

Piracy pillaging music industry

In Bangladesh, piracy is a rampant issue affecting intellectual property. Artistes, musician, composers -- music industry on the whole -- are being victimised by this unfair practice by vested groups. Artistes feel the need to figure out an effective way out of this situation.

Cinema Against Communalism

South Asia is a region that often grapples with the problem of communal and ethnic divides. The issue has been dealt with in the cinema of the region and some leading directors, including Bangladesh's Tanvir Mokammel, who have made films on this, are coming together later this month in the western Indian city of Pune to share their experiences and views.

A flurry of roles

“I am far removed from the characters I play on TV plays, but I love to see myself in different roles,” said the glamorous actress Farah Ruma.

Classical Indian dance, foreign dancers

The first International Dance Festival is on in Delhi from August 2 to 4. The festival brings together the cream of foreign dance talents trained in Indian classical dance -- be it Odissi, Kathak, Bharatna-tyam, Kuchipudi, Mohiniya-ttam, or Kathakali. The artistes come from countries as diverse as Malaysia, Indonesia, Germany, Russia, China, Mauritius and South Africa .

TV serial to encourage child development

TV serial “Rangdhanu” will be aired on ATN Bangla today. Written and directed by Humayun Ahmed and Abul Hayat respectively, the 13_episode serial will be aired every Wednesday at 4:20 pm.

Bond screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz dies

American screenwriter and director Tom Mankiewicz, whose credits included several James Bond films, has died from cancer at the age of 68.

OP-ED

When parties disown the faithful

In the end, Begum Khaleda Zia remained convinced that Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan was guilty of treachery. In her view, he had not merely undermined the Bangladesh Nationalist Party by his moves to reform the way it worked. His acts were also instrumental in having her two sons suffer at the hands of the Fakhruddin caretaker administration.

Side-stepping the legitimacy issue of Kosovo

An advisory opinion was sought from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague by the UN General Assembly in October 2008 under Article 96 of the UN Charter when Serbia questioned the unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo on February 17, 2008.

The ultimate Games of also-rans

We might all have missed the point about the Commonwealth Games (CWG); the problem is not in the games but in the Commonwealth. Britain took the event seriously when it began life as the Empire Games, for it was a good opportunity to find out how the natives were getting along in approved pursuits. Even the queen is no longer interested in a collection of countries that don't take orders from her, have little in common and less by way of wealth.

Prevailing nuclear threat in Asia

Anuclear horror is spreading over the whole Asian region. The forgotten mushroom clouds of Hiroshima and Nagashaki are looming again. Some people may express concern and some may laugh at the fear of a nuclear war, but it is evident that nuclear arsenals are growing all over the world, including Asia. The nuclear capabilities of Iran and DPR Korea are making news headlines, and causing grave concerns for the Pentagon as both of them are anti US. The nuclear ambition and achievement of South Korea was not mentioned much by US administration.

Poorly performing public servants

Ever since our independence, we have been suffering from the lack of an efficient and effective administration. However, we overcame the initial rehabilitation and reconstruction of a completely devastated economy with a majority of our public servants lacking in experience, knowledge and skill when performing tasks for a newly independent government. Thus, it would be wrong to blame public servants for administrative failures immediately after liberation.

Anything is possible

"Anything is possible" is a cliché, but it is easier to say than to do. One has to understand the depth of such concept to change one's attitude and practice. National Professor Dr. Qazi Motahar Hussain (my grandfather) did so at a very early age, and attained a very high position in the educational sector, a platform larger than life. Dr. Q. M. Hussain followed or understood three things in life to become a man of recognition with many abilities; (a) quest and need for knowledge (b) where there is a will there is a way, and (c) adopt the right attitude and anything is possible.

Cows from the sky

Like many people, I regularly look up to the heavens and say: "Why has a cow never fallen on me?"



The Daily Star

© thedailystar.net, 1991-2014. All Rights Reserved