The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, November 26, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 25th of August, 2010

Front Page

Rising high the audacity

Powerful entrepreneurs including a lawmaker built several high-rise commercial buildings far taller than allowed by approved designs in the capital, and the regulatory authorities are saying they cannot demolish the prominent illegal structures without a "green signal from the government high-ups".

5th amendment verdict paves way for justice

The recent judgment of the Supreme Court cancelling the fifth amendment to the constitution has opened the door for challenging the legality of the controversial secret trial of Bir Uttam Colonel Abu Taher.

Govt asked to return Tk 297cr to 2 firms

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the government to return in three months around Tk 297 crore, which was realised during emergency rule, to two private companies.

Man's battle restores people's right

Maqsud Alam's fundamental right to property was infringed. He sought redress from all government departments concerned, but they did not quite extend a helping hand.

Bangladesh among 100 best countries

Bangladesh has been ranked 88th among the 100 countries in the first-ever list of the world's best countries prepared by international newsmagazine, Newsweek in its latest issue.

Khaleda slates govt for law and order slide

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday bitterly criticised the government for the deterioration of law and order situation, alleging that no action is being taken against a ruling party lawmaker despite killing of a person.

JS body to discuss proposals Sept 4

The parliamentary special committee will hold a closed-door meeting on September 4 to discuss some proposals on constitutional amendment.

BCL's RU unit president, gen secy expelled

Bangladesh Chhatra League yesterday expelled its Rajshahi University unit president and general secretary for their feuds that led to several factional clashes.

Khaleda's nephew quizzed

Criminal Investigation Department yesterday interrogated BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's nephew and former personal secretary Saiful Islam Duke in the August 21 grenade attack case.

HC orders law enforcers not to arrest MP Shaon

The High Court (HC) yesterday directed the law enforcers not to harass or arrest Nurunnabi Chowdhury Shaon, Awami League lawmaker from Bhola-3 constituency, until the trial court starts proceedings against him in Juba League leader Ibrahim Ahmed murder case.

Biman chair asked to explain

The ministry of civil aviation and tourism yesterday demanded an explanation from Biman chairman for his recent comments on the ministry and its role, what the ministry says is “false and confusing”.

Govt plans to increase CNG-run auto fare

The government is planning to almost double the fare of CNG-run auto rickshaws.

2 construction workers die in 18-storey fall

Two construction workers, who happened to be siblings, died after falling from an 18-storey building in the capital's Motijheel yesterday.

Govt to set up new power line

The government is going to give power connections to 3.5 lakh new subscribers by setting up around 7,000 kilometres of new lines within the next three to four years.

Otobi gets court order against further penalty

After paying the government Tk 11.55 crore penalty for failing to launch its 110 megawatt rental power plant in Bheramara in time, furniture giant Otobi obtained a court injunction against paying further penalties.

Tangail Ahmadiyyas left to live on nerves

Male members of Ahmadiyya Muslim community at Chandtara village under Ghatail upazila of Tangail are afraid to go back in their houses following continuous threats by the religious bigots.

Pirates throw 36 fishermen into Bay to loot trawlers

Pirates threw 36 fishermen into the sea with their hands and legs tied, after attacking two fishing trawlers off the coast of Cox's Bazar early Monday.

Stop war crime suspects from fleeing in guise of Hajj pilgrims

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday directed the intelligence and law enforcement agencies to prevent suspected war criminals, Rohingyas and militants from leaving the country in the guise of Hajj pilgrims.

6 MPs among 32 killed in Somalia hotel carnage

Two Islamist militants shot dead 30 people, including six members of parliament, in a suicide attack on a Mogadishu hotel yesterday, Somalia's deputy prime minister said.

Jet crash kills 42 in China

A Chinese passenger jet overshot a fog-shrouded runway in the country's northeast and burst into flames yesterday, killing 42 people and injuring 49 others, state media said.

US troop figures in Iraq below 50,000

The number of US troops in Iraq fell below 50,000 yesterday ahead of a declaration of an end to combat operations next week, a key milestone seven years on from the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

Indian govt fights to rewrite N-liability bill

Caught in a bind over how to address the supplier liability question in the civil nuclear liability Bill, the government has given itself the next couple of days to come up with different language that would satisfy the Opposition as well as not deter potential suppliers. In fact, different formulations are already being worked out by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in consultation with the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of External Affairs.

Editorial

One-off measures cannot reduce road accidents

The parliamentary standing committee on communication ministry has recently made a specific recommendation to change the current law to enhance the scope of punishments for the guilty drivers, as a way of reducing road fatalities But we feel that there is more to mere punishing the drivers for ensuring that the roads become less hazardous, although it is primarily due to drivers' recklessness and lack of skill that account for the majority of accidents.

Stealing from the poor with impunity

The grasping hands of corruption do not spare even the ultra-poor in this country. What has been happening in Rampur union of Chandpur district is but a small hint of how things have been going where the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) and Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF) programmes are concerned. The poor rickshaw puller Sirajul Islam is not the only victim of corruption here. He has had to cough up Tk. 1,500 for the UP (it had earlier demanded Tk.3,000 but then decided to be 'merciful' to him by agreeing to half the amount) in order to come by a VGF card. If the record is anything to go by, such sinister dealings on the part of union parishad chairmen and members are rampant --- and not just in Rampur.

Sports

Tamim to rejoin training today

After two days of break opener Tamim Iqbal will join the training today at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.

Aminul worth risking a spot

Five months on and with the Asian Games knocking on the door, Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) is still unaware of the penalty of national goalkeeper Aminul Haque for receiving a red card during the AFC Challenge Cup finals in Sri Lanka held in February.

Nat'l pool announced

Twenty-two national cricketers have been bracketed in the national pool for this season's Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League.

Virtual semifinal

The word most conspicuously absent in all press conferences this Micromax Cup is 'momentum'. The schizophrenic performances of all three teams in Dambulla -- crushing opponents one day, and being crushed themselves the next -- has meant no team could claim whatever advantage momentum allegedly provides. The topsy-turvy league phase reaches its conclusion on Wednesday when India and New Zealand face off in an elimination match.

Younus still in the cold

Selectors Tuesday ignored former Pakistani captain Younus Khan for the limited-over matches series against England despite lifting a ban this year on him playing for his country.

Aminul, Momin share lead

FM Khondoker Aminul Islam of Titas and Abdul Momin of Sirajganj are now in joint lead in the points table with 7 each after the 8th round of the Federation Open FIDE Rating Chess Tournament at the federation hallroom yesterday.

Bowden, Hill set to make little history

In a rare feat, ICC Elite Panel umpires Billy Bowden and Tony Hill of New Zealand will create history on Thursday by becoming the first neutral umpires from the same country to officiate together in a Test match.

Evra to appeal French ban

French skipper Patrice Evra is to appeal the five-match ban he was handed by a disciplinary commission for co-leading a training strike during an abortive World Cup, his lawyer said Monday.

Elin parts with Tiger

Tiger Woods and Swedish model wife Elin Nordegren have officially divorced, their marriage "irretrievably broken" by a blistering sex scandal that has left the world number one golfer's life in disarray.

Rogers Cup Wozniacki's

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark won the rain-delayed Rogers Cup on Monday, beating Vera Zvonareva 6-3, 6-2.

Zim comes to Pak aid

Zimbabwe continue to offer the likeliest possibility of international cricket returning to Pakistan, with the board indicating its willingness to help victims of the floods that have ravaged Pakistan.

Sangakkara calls for consistency

After reaching the final of the Micromax Cup tri-series with one of Sri Lanka's biggest wins over India, Kumar Sangakkara has said the team must aim at winning consistently, irrespective of the margin of victory. In front of a raucous Sunday crowd, Sri Lanka rolled MS Dhoni's side over for 103, inflicting the largest defeat in India's history in terms of balls remaining.

Tevez at the double

Carlos Tevez scored twice as Manchester City overpowered Liverpool 3-0 at Eastlands here on Monday.

Moratti defends selection policy

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti defended his club's selection policy that includes no Italians in the first XI by aiming a swipe at their major rivals AC Milan and Juventus.

Spurs must win

Their proud domestic tra-ditions notwithstanding, Tottenham Hotspur need no reminding that the club merits barely a footnote to date in the history of European football's premier club competition as they target the Champions league group stage.

'City bossing transfers'

Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has accepted Manchester City are "dominant in the market" after outbidding the Spanish giants to sign Serbia full-back Aleksander Kolarov.

'Barca can get Masche for 25m pounds'

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson insists Javier Mascherano will not move to Barcelona unless the Spanish giants offer the fee the Merseyside club feel he is worth.

ODIs Kiwis' top priority

Pakistan's cricket tour of New Zealand will feature fewer Tests and more one-day matches to help the teams prepare for next year's World Cup, according to the itinerary released Tuesday.

CA extends deal with Nielsen

Australia Tuesday reappointed coach Tim Nielsen until the end of the 2013 Ashes series in England, backing him to reverse a recent slump in fortunes.

Nadal made top seed

Seeking to complete the career Grand Slam, Rafael Nadal will be the top-seeded man when the US Open starts next week, while Roger Federer will come to Flushing Meadows seeded second.

Remy given all-clear

Marseille's newly-signed France international Loic Remy has been given the all clear to continue his top level career after a heart scare had put his transfer from Nice and future in doubt.

Napoli fans show how to fake ID

A website for a group of hardcore Napoli fans has published ways to fake a controversial fan's identity card aimed at tackling hooliganism.

Lyon agree Gourcuff deal

Lyon have reached agreement with French first division rivals Bordeaux for France international midfielder Yoann Gourcuff.

Fulham sign Halliche

Fulham announced Tuesday they'd signed Algeria defender Rafik Halliche on a three-year deal from Portuguese side Benfica.

Business

SEC aims to calm market, irks brokers

The stockmarket regulator yesterday again tightened margin-loan criteria in an effort to calm overheated bourses, but the brokers and bankers are miffed.

Great leap for garment exports to China?

Garment exports to China -- which soared in the last fiscal year -- may grow even faster as the world's largest apparel supplier starts allowing duty-free access to Bangladesh in July.

FDI makes a comeback

A positive trend has appeared in foreign direct investment in Bangladesh, which observers see as a result of gradual easing of global recession and improved investor confidence.

Milk Vita churns out record profit

Bangladesh Milk Producers' Co-operative Union Ltd, popularly known by its brand name Milk Vita, has earned a record profit of Tk 16 crore in fiscal 2009-10.

E-money order service thru' post offices by Dec

The 'e-money order' service of the postal department will be extended to 1,600 post offices across the country by December this year, said Director General of Postal Department Mobassher Ur Rahman.

Dhaka show highlights items made by women entrepreneurs

A six-day expo to display products made by Bangladeshi and Pakistani women entrepreneurs began in Dhaka yesterday.

Bharti Airtel eyes mobile market leadership in Kenya

Zain Kenya plans to invest more than 25 billion shillings ($308.1 million) in the next 18 months in a bid to gain market leadership in the nation of 20 million mobile phone users, its country managing director said.

DSE halts two more companies

Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday suspended trading of two listed companies for abnormal price hike in their share prices.

France's Carrefour getting out of Malaysia

French retail giant Carrefour plans to sell its business in Malaysia, a minister said, amid speculation the firm will also offload its Singapore and Thai stores and exit Southeast Asia altogether.

Fair price rice sale begins in Rangpur

The month-long programme of selling rice by the Directorate General of Food under the ongoing fair price card programme began in Rangpur yesterday.

Rakub stresses SME search

Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank (Rakub) has asked its branch officials to find potential small and medium entreprises (SMEs) and provide those with loans.

Taiwanese LCD maker files second suit against Sony

Taiwan's Chimei Innolux Corp sued Japan's Sony Corp for infringing on patents used in PlayStation 3 video game consoles, televisions, computer notebooks and cameras.

Merchandising degree optional

Five months ago, David Hasanat, chairman of one of the nation's largest knitwear and woven goods exporter, all but gave up his search for employees with an academic background in merchandising to help Gazipur-based Viyellatex Group increase its sales.

After Islamic food and banking: halal travel

In his days as a jet-setting telecom executive, ready-to-eat meals were a regular part of Fazal Bahardeen's luggage.

Google buys shopping comparison site Like.com

Search giant Google has bought the shopping comparison website Like.com, the two companies said on Monday.

Reliance Power eyes $5b Indonesia investment

Reliance Power is considering investing as much as $5 billion in Indonesia, a spokesman for Indonesia's vice president said on Tuesday.

Nokia and Intel launch joint research lab

US computer chip giant Intel and Finland's Nokia, the world's leading mobile phone maker, said Tuesday they had opened a joint research laboratory on Finland's northwestern coast.

Gates and Buffett due in China to meet the wealthy

Bill Gates and Warren Buffett -- who persuaded 40 US billionaires to donate a fortune to charity -- will meet a select group of wealthy individuals in China next month, a spokesperson said Tuesday.

Oil falls

Crude prices fell in Asia Tuesday as analysts said losses in equities markets had compounded fears about weak oil fundamentals.

Corporate Briefs

MERCANTILE BANK
Mosharref Hossain, one of the sponsors/directors of the bank, seeks to sell his 70,000 shares out of 10,44,702 shares while M Amanullah and Md Akram Hossain (Humayun), sponsors/directors of the bank, seek to buy 40,000 and 30,000 shares (in the block market) respectively at prevailing market price through stock exchange in 30 workdays.

Metropolitan

Academic session begins in Delhi tomorrow

The long-awaited South Asian University will start its academic session from tomorrow to make it an institute of South Asian studies focusing on its issues and challenges.

Asian women rights groups support war crimes trial

Representatives of several Asian rights and women groups yesterday expressed solidarity with Bangladesh initiatives to try 1971 perpetrators of crimes against humanity particularly against women.

Tickets on sale for Eid holiday-makers

Tickets are already open for sale for the home-bound passengers nearly two weeks ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, the biggest religious festival of Muslims.

13 lakh children become victims of natural disasters in 6 months

A total of 13 lakh children in Asia Pacific region have been affected in natural disasters in the first six months of this year.

Create massive awareness about children with autism

Saima Wajed Putul, an expert in autism and intellectually challenged, yesterday urged the organisations working with autism to launch a massive public awareness movement to create social acceptance for children with autism.

Ghulam Azam was chief patron of Razakar

Freedom fighters and local residents in Brahmanbaria yesterday said ex-Jamaat chief Ghulam Azam was the chief patron of Razakar, Al-badar and Al-shams -- the forces collaborated with Pakitani army during Bangladesh's Liberation War in 1971.

Govt firm to establish secular society: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon the minority communities to work with sincerity, honesty and devotion for ensuring welfare of the people of all faiths living in the country.

Ctg steel mill fined for polluting air

Department of Environment yesterday fined a steel mill Tk 5.63 lakh for polluting air by emitting toxic smoke at city's Bayezid Bostami area.

Experts confirm Anthrax in samples, 9 more affected

A team of experts from Bangladesh Agricultural University (BAU) yesterday confirmed Anthrax germ in the samples collected from Pabna and Sirajganj districts.

Sayedee to face tribunal on Sep 21

The International Crimes Tribunal yesterday directed the prison authorities to produce detained Jamaat-e-Islami Nayeb-e-Ameer Delwar Hossain Sayedee before it on September 21 in connection with 1971 war crime charges.

Hermaphrodite shot over Eid toll

Around 150 agitated hermaphrodites (hijra) attacked the residents of an Uttara house yesterday afternoon after the residence owner shot injured one of their accomplices when they were trying to extort money from residents.

Rab implicated Pradip as Ulfa man

Family members of detained Pradip Marak, an alleged Bangladeshi aide to detained Ulfa leader Ranjan Chowdhury, yesterday complained that Rab personnel implicated him as an Ulfa man being influenced by one of his former business partners.

BCL activists assault JCD leader

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists assaulted a Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) leader in front of Public Library yesterday.

Boy found dead in city shop

Police recovered a hanging body of a 14-year old boy from a carom board shop in the city's Jurain yesterday morning while the deceased's relatives claimed it as a murder.

Five killed in road accidents

Five people including a minor girl were killed in separate road accidents in Sylhet, Natore and Bagerhat yesterday.

Moulvibazar DC offers apology to HC

Deputy Commissioner of Moulvibazar yesterday offered unconditional apology to the High Court for defying its orders on a disputed piece of land and his appearance in the court.

Next hearing on Oct 11

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday adjourned the hearing till October 11 on a contempt of court petition filed against detained Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of daily Amar Desh, and its publisher Hashmat Ali.

Bangladeshi cattle trader shot dead by BSF

A Bangladeshi cattle trader was shot dead by Indian Border Security Force (BSF) along Ghona border in Sadar upazila Monday night.

HC scraps sentence of Shahjahan Siraj

The High Court yesterday overturned a lower court judgement convicting former minister Shahjahan Siraj and sentencing him to 13-year imprisonment in a corruption case.

Mirza Abbas gets bail in criminal case

The High Court (HC) yesterday granted bail to former BNP minister Mirza Abbas, and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Rafiqul Islam Khan, in separate criminal cases.

Cops detain three youths at DMCH

Police yesterday detained three youths as they tried to flee away leaving a dead body at emergency unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

1000 bottles of Phensidyl seized in Ctg

Highway police of Kumira outpost seized a microbus with 1,000 bottles of Phensidyl worth around Tk 3 lakh on Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Sitakunda upazila early yesterday.

Bill on alternative justice system soon: Shafique

The government is going to introduce alternative dispute resolution system as a mandatory trial mode in civil and criminal courts to remove the deadlock of cases for easing sufferings of justice seekers, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said yesterday.

Shops fined for selling at higher prices

A mobile court fined several shops at city's Fakirapul of Tk 32 thousand for selling essential commodities at higher prices than the government fixed yesterday.

National

Smugglers pouring in garments, cosmetics ahead of festivals

Huge amounts of goods are being smuggled in daily through direct passenger buses and trains running on Dhaka-Kolkata-Dhaka route as a section of passport passengers known as 'luggage party' are pouring in different types of garments and cosmetics from India ahead of the Eid and Puja festivals.

13 outlaws freed on bail in Khulna in last 7 months

Thirteen underground operatives, detained on specific murder charges, were released on bail from Khulna district jail from December 27 in 2009 to August 9 this year.

Farmers besiege DC's office

Farmers of eight villages under Thakurgaon Sadar upazila yesterday besieged the deputy commissioner's office to save their aman plants on 35000 acres of land from water logging.

Nasirullah's death shatters dreams of his family

Air became heavy as the death news of Rajshahi University student Nasirullah Al Nasim reached his Chalknarendra village home in Shibganj upazila of Chapainawabganj.

Two held for mugging, truck looted in N'ganj

Police in separate drives arrested two people on Monday night on charge of looting Tk 14 lakh from a businessman at Nitaiganj in the town.

BCL activist gets 12-yr RI for mugging

A Sylhet court yesterday sentenced an activist of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) to 12 years rigorous imprisonment in a mugging case.

Move cautiously ahead of election, police warn UP chairmen

Khulna district police administration has sent letters to all 68 union parishad (UP) chairmen of the district to move cautiously as outlaws are trying to create panic, committing heinous crimes.

Deposition of PWs not recorded for absence of main accused

Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal yesterday could not record the deposition of the prosecution witnesses(PWs) in two cases, as the principal accused Mufti Abdul Hannan could not be produced in court.

3 of a family get life for killing boy

Three of a family were sentenced to life term rigorous imprisonment yesterday for killing a child in 1989.

Man gets life for wife murder

A court on Monday sentenced one person to rigorous life imprisonment for killing his wife in 2006.

Tiger kills woman

A housewife was killed by tiger as she went to pluck 'kewra', a kind of vegetable in the Sundarbans yesterday afternoon. The victim was identified as Anowara Begum, 42, wife of Kawsar Ali of village Sora in Shyamnagar upazila. According to forest officials, while Anowara was plucking kewra in Fulkhali area in Dhanghora canal in the afternoon, a tiger swooped on her and dragged her into the deep forest. Forest guards and local people later recovered her body.

Carpenter murdered

A carpenter was hacked to death by one of his co-workers over a trivial matter in Sahapara area under Sonargaon police station of the district yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Abul Hossain, 28, of Monpura village under Kachua police station of Chandpur. Alleged killer Gias Uddin went into hiding after the incident. Police said, Abul and Gias worked at the furniture shop of one Alauddin of the area. Yesterday at around 9:00am they locked in an altercation over their tasks. At one stage, Gias hacked Abul with sharp weapon mercilessly, leaving him dead on the spot.

Mayor's office vandalised

A group of contractors yesterday afternoon ransacked the municipality office under Muladi upazila of the district following a discord over the conditions for dropping tender. They also assaulted several officials including the acting Mayor and the secretary of the municipality office, witnesses said. Sources said Muladi municipality office invite a tender on August 02 and yesterday was the last date for submitting it. But the 'AL-backed' contractors disputed two conditions of the tender. Officer-in-charge Amiruzzaman of Muladi police station said, at around 12pm yesterday, acting Mayor Enamul Haq invited upazila Awami League president Abdul Bari and general secretary Abdul Malek to his office for a meeting on the matter. But before the start of the talk some unruly aides and contractors started to vandalise the office, the OC added.

Restaurants fined

A mobile court here on Sunday realised Tk 20,000 in fine from four restaurants in city for preparing food in unhygienic environment and adulterating food. The mobile court led by administrative magistrate Maksuda Khondokar and accompanied by members of law enforcing agencies, BSTI and CAB, fined Panchali Biriani House of Sadar Road, Hotel Al Jamea and Al Wazesia of Hemayetuddin Road and Comilla Hotel of Port Road areas of the city. The operation will continue, the mobile court sources said.

Letters

Higher education

Higher education in Bangladesh is fragmented, scattered, and takes place in nearly 1200 institutions called affiliated colleges, many of which are tiny and a trace better than higher secondary schools. They do not have libraries worth the name. Most of them have a faculty strength varying from 100 to 200 and the number of faculty with doctoral qualification is pitiably low or nil in many cases. These institutions of higher learning perform only classroom teaching, preparing students for examinations like tutorial colleges. Unfortunately, the entire higher education in Bangladesh takes place only in the ill-equipped, understaffed, affiliated colleges as can be seen from the fact that 89 per cent of undergraduate students, 66 per cent of post-graduate students, and 82 per cent of faculty are in the affiliated colleges.

Population explosion

I would like to thank the four Supreme Court advocates who recently filed a writ petition on public interest on the over population problem of our country. In response to the petition the High Court has issued a ruling on the government regarding this matter.

The holy month

Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said, “Fasting is a shield.”

Assault on OC

Officer in Charge of Sharsha Police Station was physically assaulted by a member of parliament allegedly for starting a murder case against some of his party supporters. I as a retired police officer feel hurt and anguished and demand exemplary punishment, of course after due inquiry. As per CrPC, the OC is the symbol of civilian authority. Even in the colonial period when OC was a non-gazetted officer Union Jack( flag of the British Empire) was hoisted in his office. That tradition still continues. As per Police Regulation of Bengal, OC had a place in presentation line when governor general visited his area. In present day police administration, OC plays the pivotal role. Assault on OC is an assault on whole judicial system because criminal justice system starts with the lodging of complaint with the OC. In suggesting punishment to the perpetrators, I shall also suggest departmental proceedings against OC and accompanying staff on charge of cowardice. The police officers who cannot keep the honour of his uniform should not be allowed to wear it.

Biman

Over the years, Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport has become busier with a growing number of foreign airlines operating to Dhaka. It is however most regrettable to say that the service of Biman has deteriorated noticeably. In the hot summer they are usually unable to provide ground external air-conditioning due to unavailability of equipment. Whenever a piece of equipment becomes unusable, it is left without any repair. Biman does not even bother to import spare parts for the upkeep of the equipment. Instead of buying good German equipment, they buy cheap Chinese or Indian equipment which does not give any service.

BCL

The Bangladesh Chhatra League is now out of Awami League's control. We are keen to know what is going on in this organisation. If the AL fails to control BCL, they would be detached from the general people of Bangladesh.

Unrest in RMG

The new wage structure declared by the government has infuriated the RMG workers. Everyone knows that with a minimum salary of Tk 3000 per month, a worker can hardly make both ends meet, let alone other activities. But we will also have to be aware of the fact that it is an 80 percent increase from the previous salary structure. I believe our government could have handled the situation more prudently through maintaining communication with both workers and owners. Owners have to take workers in confidence that they are trying their level best to meet their (workers') rational demands. At the same time workers have to be patient. The government should not allow any evil force to instigate the workers to indulge in vandalism in the name of movement. Any kind of unrest in RMG sector is an ominous sign for our economy. Healthy environment for production is a crying need if we want to compete in global market.

Closure of schools

The government's decision of shutting down all the schools with a view to lessening the never-ending traffic congestion, came too hurriedly for the teachers to provide their students with holyday homework, let alone advancing the syllabus a bit to ease the load both teachers and students will face before the annual exam. What is more, JSC (Junior School Certificate) exam of class Eight is scheduled to be held for the first time in November. Having the experience of teaching, I know how difficult it is to complete the courses in time unless classes are held as it should be. So the decision is shortsighted. Consequently, the reliance on private coaching increased by degrees, compelling the guardians to expense more than necessary.

Poor rickshaw pullers

It has become difficult to roam around in the sun for a long time without an umbrella. The days of walking on the boulevard are over. One would feel the skin burns. The weather is intolerable.

Rule of law!

We, the people of Bangladesh, are living with our misfortune. But the situation should have been different. In the electoral pledge the AL promised to establish rule of law. The utterance of this sentence is now a cruel joke for us. The law and order situation is deteriorating without any pause since the grand alliance assumed power. The latest addendum of their stigmatised achievement is the assault on cops. Where is the end of it?

Mass transit now!

I congratulate the writer of this well researched Point Counterpoint article published on Aug 17. The suggestion to shift the main railway terminal to Tongi is an excellent one coupled with the provision of frequent commuter trains between Tongi and Narayanganj. However to prevent traffic barriers it is necessary to construct a sky train mass transit system for commuter trains. This can be built on the existing roads on elevated pillars and completed much more quickly and without much disruption of traffic flow or services, and at a fraction of the cost of an underground system to carry passengers on this route.

Bus seats for senior citizens

I would like to thank the bus owners association and concerned advocacy groups who have ventured to keep at least nine seats in each bus reserved for the handicapped, children and women.

Tony Blair in Bangladesh

Both Bush and Blair lied to the world and to their countrymen and triggered an invasion of mass murder and annihilation of human beings unprecedented in the history of mankind. Does anybody has any statistics of how many children and women and innocent human beings were slaughtered indiscriminately in Iraq due to a barbaric and unjust war thrust on the country illegally by the above two persons, besides destruction of homesteads and properties? The figure is enormous. Those two persons are seemed to be totally oblivious of the crime they committed against humanity. We are waiting for the time when these two persons will face the war crime tribunal for their misdeeds against humanity. We do not know what business has brought Blair to our country where he is most unwelcome. Only business as we read in the newspaper was to meet the foreign minister to attend a dinner and meet the prime minister. He could be a VIP to our ministers but certainly not to the people of this country. We are peace-loving people and hate war and its perpetrators.

Performance of AL govt

The current situation of our country has made our life miserable. It seems that everything is falling apart.

Gunmen for VCs!

According to a news item published recently in the press, the government is considering to provide public university Vice Chancellors (VCs) with gunmen to ensure their safety. A letter has been sent by the Council of Vice Chancellors to the Ministry of Education recommending deployment of gunmen for VCs security inside and outside their campuses.

Taliban and Pakistan

To get Western aid, Pakistan must stop propping up Afghan Taliban in its proxy war with India.

The old debate

We often say that we are Bengalis. It's all right. I never oppose it, but I think at first we are Bangladeshis (I mean after 1971). People who speak Bangla are known as Bengalis. People of West Bengal of India are also Bengalis.

A second chance

As 1000 prisoners across the country were set free from 68 jails across the country, in what appears to be the largest ever release on amnesty for those who are aged, ill, women, children or disabled, there seems to be a feeling of uncertainty in the air. Among those released are prisoners who were jailed for 20 years or longer and have displayed good behaviour. Outbursts of delight and tears of joy ensued as the friends and family of the released welcomed them home. However, there are always two sides to a coin. While this news has been greeted with joy and ecstasy by the near ones of the convicts who have been released, much of the population remains in doubts over the situation. This decision is bound to have certain positive outcomes on the society based on grounds of humanity, but the question that remains unanswered is whether these people will continue to display their good conduct in the days to come. There seems to be no assurance that those set free will not associate themselves with any wrong-doings in the future since authorities have themselves admitted that prisons don't have the ability to rehabilitate wrong doers.

Believe it or not

People the world over must have seen many unnatural things on Television in Ripley's Believe It or Not. I have deliberately chosen the title as the phenomenon I am about mention is almost unbelievable. I do not belong to any party, nor am I a partisan.

International

Flood recovery will take years: Zardari

Recovering from the devastating floods still battering Pakistan will take at least three years, the president said, as the waters swept south after leaving millions homeless and submerging millions of acres of farmland.

Australia's kingmakers meet to discuss next goverment

A handful of independent and Green MPs who will decide the make-up of Australia's minority government were set to begin talks yesterday to decide whether to support Labor or the conservative opposition's bid for power.

Police admit blunders in hostage drama

Philippine police conceded yesterday they had made blunders ending a bus hijacking as outrage grew over the bloody assault that was played out on live television and left eight Hong Kong tourists dead.

N Korea deploying troops, weapons near Pyongyang

North Korea is deploying troops, artillery and tanks near Pyongyang in apparent preparation for a massive military parade marking key national events later this year, South Korea said yesterday.

14 die in Nepal plane crash

All 14 people aboard a small plane heading for the Everest region, including four Americans, a Japanese and a Briton, were killed when the plane crashed in bad weather near the Nepalese capital yesterday.

Next Nepal PM duel on Sept 5

After failing to elect a new prime minister Monday despite five rounds of vote spread over a month, Nepal's parliament will now hold an unprecedented sixth round of election Sep 5 amidst growing protests at home and concern among the world community.

Ahmadinejad to visit flood-hit Pakistan

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will soon travel to flood-hit Pakistan to witness first hand the impact of the natural disaster that has engulfed Iran's eastern neighbour, the interior minister said yesterday.

Ahead of election, security deteriorates

As the Taliban spread their tentacles across the formerly peaceful north of Afghanistan, upcoming elections are proving a target for the insurgents.

India backs tribes in mining ruling

India's environment minister struck down a controversial mining project yesterday by multinational Vedanta that threatened a tribal group whose fate had been compared to the stars of the film Avatar.

KSA welcomes direct ME talks

The Saudi government welcomed the relaunch of US-sponsored direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians aimed at reaching a peace settlement in a year, the official SPA news agency reported yesterday.

Indian govt fights to rewrite N-liability bill

Caught in a bind over how to address the supplier liability question in the civil nuclear liability Bill, the government has given itself the next couple of days to come up with different language that would satisfy the Opposition as well as not deter potential suppliers. In fact, different formulations are already being worked out by the Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) in consultation with the Prime Minister's Office and Ministry of External Affairs.

China's epic traffic jam could last for weeks

A massive traffic jam in north China that stretches for dozens of miles and hit its 10-day mark yesterday stems from road construction in Beijing that won't be finished until the middle of next month, an official said.

Israeli PM snubs IAEA chief

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has snubbed UN atomic watchdog chief Yukiya Amano who is on his first visit to Israel, the Haaretz newspaper reported yesterday.

Putin's guard service hit by hackers

Hackers carried out an attack on the email system of the Russian guard service responsible for protecting President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the service said yesterday.

US troop figures in Iraq below 50,000

The number of US troops in Iraq fell below 50,000 yesterday ahead of a declaration of an end to combat operations next week, a key milestone seven years on from the invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein.

'Author's toilet' put on sale for $1m

A toilet described as once having belonged to US author JD Salinger has been put on sale on the online auction site eBay for $1m (£644,000).

'Survival of the fittest' is disputed

Charles Darwin may have been wrong when he argued that competition was the major driving force of evolution.

Arts & Entertainment

Bangladesh Betar: Restoring its lost glory

Last week, I stepped into the Bangladesh Betar, Dhaka for the first time in nearly a decade. The building was very much as I remembered it - an imposing red brick structure in Agargaon with a sprawling and well kept garden in front. As a tribute to its rich history, the musical instruments from Shwadhin Bangla Betar Kendra were displayed at the entrance.

Komol Chandra Sarkar: Flutes that are a class apart

When 64-year-old Komol Chandra Sarkar plays his flute, he draws a huge crowd to his house. It is not just the mesmerising quality of his music; the self crafted instrument is also a source of income for Sarkar. In fact so popular are his flutes that they can be found in different districts and markets in Khulna division. Veteran flutists of Jatra parties, music academies and clubs also flock to him in droves to buy his flutes. Sarkar also makes sculptures which attract numerous buyers.

System of a Down’s Tankian explores new “Harmonies”

Life after System of a Down has been pretty good for Serj Tankian.

22-year-old Mexican crowned Miss Universe

A 22-year-old Mexican won the Miss Universe pageant Monday night after donning a flowing red gown and telling an audience it's important to teach kids family values.

Showcasing ethnic jewellery

Ethnic jewellery has its own identity and characteristics. Mixing patterns, textures and colours is one of the key elements when creating such ethnic items. Amman Rashid is the main designer of his brand “Aadi”. He has been working on ethnic jewellery for the last six years. Inspired by the ethnic ornaments of the Africans, especially the ancient decoration and ornamentation, Rashid has devoted his life to designing jewellery.

OP-ED

Of Taher, of self-esteem re-asserted

Our old confidence in our country seems to be reasserting itself, for good reason. That we have a judiciary ready to steer the country back to self-esteem, to the values which led us to war against Pakistan in 1971, is a happenstance which cheers us to no end. As a people, we have consistently believed that everything that has struck at our moral underpinnings as a nation, every predatory act against Bengali secular nationhood since August 1975, would in time be rolled back.

Gagging free speech or protecting judicial integrity?

The recent conviction of the Amar Desh acting editor, publisher and reporter for contempt of court has exposed the inherent tension between the need to preserve public confidence in judicial institutions and the right of the media to criticise them.

Contempt of Court

Many people are familiar with the concept of contempt of court. Contempt of court is a charge which can be laid against someone for interrupting the process of justice in a court of law, or any action that interferes with a judge's ability to administer justice or insults the dignity of the court. A charge of contempt, if proved, can result in fines and imprisonment.

Small family is happy family

The total fertility rate in Bangladesh is high and the fertility rate of the younger group among whom the concept of birth spacing is not yet popular has, in fact, shown an increasing trend. The incidence if childlessness among currently married women has also declined.



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