The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 30, 2014


News of: Sunday, 19th of September, 2010

Front Page

Boycotters pocket it, see no wrong

The BNP-led opposition lawmakers drew the allowances for residence on duty and conveyance even for the three parliamentary sessions they skipped.

Yield high yet rice pricey

Prices of rice have increased up to 50 percent than that of last year's despite a bumper boro production of 1.83 crore metric tonnes this season.

2 Bogra labour leaders killed

Two leaders of Jatiya Sramik League were killed in Bogra early yesterday.

Poly bags rule despite ban

Despite a ban on polythene shopping bags, they are being traded and used throughout the country thanks to inadequate drive against their manufacture and an absence of cost effective environment friendly alternatives.

Flooding betters in 12 districts

Flood situation continued to improve in 12 districts yesterday while it deteriorated in Sylhet with many fresh areas going under water.

Polluters must pay

The government must make the polluters pay for cleaning up the river Buriganga and undertake an integrated and scientific approach to this end, demanded leading environmental activists and experts at a seminar in the city yesterday.

Fresh cases reported

As many as 18 fresh cases of anthrax infection have been detected at Gilabari village of Aditmari upazila in Lalmonirhat district yesterday.

PM off to New York

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday left for New York on a ten-day overseas tour to attend the 65th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that begins on September 23.

BNP to miss first day for sure

Mainstream opposition BNP will not join the 6th session of the 9th parliament on the opening day tomorrow as its national standing committee is set to discuss the issue on Tuesday.

Gold shop found looted after Eid

Seven hundred tolas of gold and Tk 5.35 lakh in cash were reportedly stolen from a jewellery shop at Golden Plaza of Reazuddin Bazar under Kotwali Police Station sometime during the weeklong Eid vacation.

CID to take over case in a day or two

The police headquarters yesterday asked detectives to hand over the Awami League activist Ibrahim Ahmed "murder" case to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

BNP slates leaders' travel 'bar'

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday termed 'illegal, autocratic, unconstitutional and undemocratic' the government restriction to leave the country imposed on 70 leaders of the party.

2 commit 'suicide'

Two persons including a college student allegedly committed suicide in the city's Mohammadpur and cantonment areas yesterday.

Afghans vote amid Taliban attacks

Afghans braved Taliban rockets and polling site bombings yesterday to vote for a new parliament in elections seen as a measure of the government's competence and commitment to democratic rule.

Safety lapse likely cause for Lanka blast

Improperly stored detonators are likely to have triggered a dynamite explosion that killed 25 people and injured dozens in eastern Sri Lanka, police said yesterday.

Pakistan floods renew heated debate on dam project

This summer's floods in Pakistan have reopened a quarter-century-old debate on whether to build a large hydroelectric dam on the River Indus, a dispute that has split the nation along regional lines. Supporters say the water reservoir could have prevented much of the floods' devastation and boosted agricultural production along the river. Opponents say just the opposite.

Obama blasts Republicans for blocking campaign finance rules

US President Barack Obama yesterday accused Republicans of blocking stricter campaign finance rules he believes are necessary after a Supreme Court ruling lifting caps on corporate donations.

Iran invites Turkey into space program: report

Iran has invited Turkey to cooperate in work on the Islamic Republic's space program, which aims to put a man in space by 2017, the Turkish newspaper Haberturk said yesterday.

Anti-Japan protesters rally in China over boat row

Waving banners and chanting anti-Japanese slogans, protesters staged rallies in China yesterday to voice anger over the arrest of a Chinese trawler captain which has sparked a major diplomatic row.

Editorial

Bipartisan approach to eradication of poverty encouraging

There are moments when we as a people believe that our politics will finally eschew its divisive tendencies and get back on the right track. Such intermittent hope, whenever it is roused in us by the nation's political classes, does wonders for our collective imagination and leads us into thinking that perhaps the time has indeed arrived for democracy to actually dig deeper roots in Bangladesh. It is this kind of feeling which took hold of us on Friday, when parliamentarians from both the ruling Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party gathered on one platform to declare their unity of purpose in alleviating poverty in the country. That they came together in spirited support of the Millennium Development Goals is a positive happening the import of which was not lost on anyone.

Reckless driving

In the wake of the High Court order requiring installation of speed monitoring devices in all vehicles, the government is reportedly planning to seek permission of the court to adopt some different measures. The HC, to our understanding, wants to see 'speed governors' installed in motorised transports.

Sports

All the best to NCL

Cricketers from all over the country are putting the final touches to their preparations for the upcoming season, with the best of the crop getting ready for the first phase of the National Cricket League (NCL) which begins on September 29.

Jacobs drives Warriors

David Jacobs and Ashwell Prince shared a 147-run opening partnership as the Eastern Cape Warriors beat the Central Stags by six wickets in a Champions League Twenty20 match at St. George's Park here on Saturday.

Gul guns Eng down

Umar Gul produced a devastating spell of swing bowling taking six for 42 as Pakistan won the third one-day international against England here at The Oval by 23 runs on Friday.

PCB refutes Sun claims

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) yesterday rejected reports that the International Cricket Council (ICC) is investigating the national team's third one-dayer against England for suspected match-fixing, saying that there is "no truth" in them.

India, Jordan arrive here

The under-19 women's football team of Jordan and India arrived in the city yesterday to take part in the Group B qualifying-1 round matches of the AFC U-19 women's championship that begins on Monday at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium at Kamalapur.

Uttu Smriti football

Century Association beat Sonali Atit Club 2-1 in the Hafijul Islam Khan Uttu Smriti First Division Football League at the Shaheed Miraz-Tapan Stadium yesterday.

Women's kabaddi

Bangladesh Ansar and BJMC reached the semifinals of the Meizan National Women's Kabaddi Championship by winning their respective matches at the Dhanmondi Sultana Kamal Women's Sports Complex yesterday.

28 called for U-17 training

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has selected twenty-eight players for the two-week long training camp of the Under-17 Development Squad.

Redbacks reach semis

Michael Klinger hit his third successive half-century as the South Australia Redbacks became the first team to qualify for the Champions League Twenty semifinals with an eight-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore at Kingsmead on Friday.

Paes, Bhupathi keep India alive

Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi continued their winning run in Davis Cup doubles to secure India a point in the World Group playoff against Brazil on Saturday.

Waqar cheers charges on

Coach Waqar Younis has urged his Pakistan side to go on and win the current one-day series against England after their stunning display at The Oval on Friday.

Ricky's toughest 7 months lie ahead

Skipper Ricky Ponting has said that the next seven months for Australia and himself will be the greatest challenge of his career.

Moore faces trial for drunken brawl

Craig Moore, former captain of the Australian national football team, is to go on trial in Dubai on Sunday over an alleged drunken brawl with police, the Gulf News reported.

ICC to probe Oval ODI

Pakistan's beleaguered cricket team came under the officials' spotlight again Saturday following "suspicious scoring patterns" in the third one-day international against England.

'Irfan got gifts from stranger'

Irfan Pathan had reported to the team's assistant manager that he was given gifts by a stranger during the 2006 tour of Pakistan, the official has confirmed. Wing commander M Baladitya, the team's assistant manager on the tour, said the incident had taken place at the Pearl Continental Hotel in Karachi.

Jadeja's fear

Legalising betting cannot stop corruption in cricket, feels former India all-rounder Ajay Jadeja, who says there is very little that can be done if an individual "is ready to do something".

Hammers' 1st point

Bottom club West Ham secured their first point of the season after eking out a hard-fought 1-1 draw at Stoke in the early English Premier League game on Saturday.

'Chelsea most balanced'

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti is convinced his side is the most balanced in the Premier League, which is the reason why it keeps on

MU's most-anticipated tie

Sir Alex Ferguson claims that Liverpool is still Manchester United's most-anticipated match despite the Anfield club's recent slump.

Mourinho unlikely for Portugal

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has admitted it is unlikely he will take temporary charge of Portugal - but stopped short of ruling himself out entirely.

Maradona meets ex-president

Football legend Diego Maradona met with ex-Argentine president Nestor Kirchner on Friday, his first public appearance after bitter words exchanged over his dismissal as the country's national team coach.

Colombian FA in dire straits

The Colombian football federation is in such dire financial straits that the government is set to pass a bill that would open the country's professional clubs up to private investment.

Helmes eyes Euro berth

Striker Patrick Helmes is hoping to win a place in Germany coach Joachim Loew's starting line-up for next month Euro 2012 qualifiers after putting his injury nightmares behind him with a hattrick.

Hughes keen to keep Schwarzer

Fulham manager Mark Hughes is convinced a new deal will help persuade Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to stay at Craven Cottage.

Mertesacker set to return

Germany defender Per Mer-tesacker is set to return to Bundesliga action next Tuesday, just a fortnight after fracturing his eye socket, and could play in next month's Euro 2012 qualifiers.

Business

New brands hit edible oil market

New edible oil brands are hitting the market, as bottling gives oil refiners and packagers higher margins and the scope to ward off hiked prices in loose oil.

A growing class boosts credit card use

The consumer habits of the growing middle class is a boon for the credit card business of top banks in Bangladesh, even while the majority still deals in cash.

After Eid, rice price creeps higher in Ctg

The retail prices of rice after Eid have risen above the highest fluctuations during Ramadan, according to importers and wholesalers of Chaktai wholesale market of Chittagong.

Yahoo seeks to ease tensions with Alibaba

Yahoo! chief executive Carol Bartz sought Friday to ease tensions with Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce giant in which the California internet company holds a 39 percent stake.

FBCCI team off to New York

A 24-member delegation of the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) left the capital last night for New York as part of the prime minister's entourage.

Banglalink to work for farm sector

Mobile operator Banglalink has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Access to Information (A2I) Programme of the Prime Minister's Office and Agricultural Information Services (AIS) of the agriculture ministry.

London Fashion Week starts with record global support

British designers stepped out to prove their worth on the world stage at the start of London Fashion Week on Friday, as organisers hailed the capital as the globe's "number one fashion destination".

Govt plans industrial belts in Mirsarai, Sirajganj

In a bid to generate employment and provide infrastructural support to small and medium entrepreneurs in Chittagong, the government has planned to set up an industrial town in Mirsarai upazila.

Stocks pass a quiet week

Stocks remained nearly flat with intra-day price fluctuations in all four trading sessions after the Dhaka market resumed trade on Monday, the first workday following the Eid-ul-Fitr vacation.

Corruption threatens Indonesia's economic rise: IMF

The International Monetary Fund warned Friday Indonesia must make fighting corruption a priority if it wants to build on its progress as one of the world's best-performing economies.

'Produce-ing' for a loss

If you were to invest in a business with a factory, you would not think of producing only to incur a loss, especially if your livelihood depended on it. Not even the social businesses Dr Yunus talks about are geared to making a loss.

Indian handset makers on a roll

During this year's IPL cricket tournament in India, mobile phone manufacturers used the hugely popular extravaganza to blitz viewers with an array of sponsorship deals and advertising.

Asian stocks higher

Asian stocks rose on Friday as traders followed a positive lead from Wall Street while Japanese exporters extended gains on the back of the weaker yen.

London investors to take stock of finance

Investors on the London Stock Exchange are next week to take stock of British public finances and prospects for monetary policy.

Oil shoots up

Crude prices blew past 75 dollars in noontime Asian trade Friday as oil giant Pemex shut platforms and wells in the Mexican Gulf coast menaced by a strengthening Hurricane Karl, analysts said.

Standard Chartered steps up relocation plans

Standard Chartered bank has stepped up plans for possible relocation to the Far East where it does most of its business, as it bids to escape tighter regulations in Britain, a report said on Friday.

Samsung takes aim at Apple's iPad, iTunes

South Korea's Samsung took aim at Apple's iPad and iTunes on Friday with the US launch of its new Galaxy tablet computer and an online entertainment hub for movies and television shows.

Continental, United shareholders okay merger

Continental Airlines and United Airlines shareholders overwhelmingly voted to merge Friday, paving the way for the creation of the world's biggest airline.

Dell to invest $100b in China by 2020

Computer giant Dell plans to open its second center in China next year as it eyes a 100 billion dollar investment in the world's fastest growing market over the next decade, a spokesman said Friday.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Sept 13 -16, 2010
International Markets:

This week marked another volatile one for the currency markets. The highlight of the week was the yen intervention by the BOJ for the first time in 6 years. The yen edged up against the dollar and other currencies on Thursday as Japanese authorities stayed away from the currency market after their massive yen-selling operation the previous day. The euro hit its highest in more than a month against the dollar and the yen after strong demand at a Spanish bond auction prompted some buying in the single currency, triggering stop-loss buy orders which accelerated its move higher. Speculation Tokyo may step back in to sell the yen capped its upside after Japan sold an estimated 1.8 trillion yen ($21.14 billion) for dollars to stem yen strength on Wednesday. Japan's first currency intervention in six years knocked the yen from a 15-year high versus the dollar and analysts said the move showed Japan was firmly resolved to stem yen strength. Analysts said wariness of more intervention may limit the dollar's downside to 83 yen -- close to where Japan was seen beginning its yen selling on Wednesday. Prime Minister Naoto Kan reiterated on Thursday Japan would take decisive steps on yen rises, Jiji news agency reported, while Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa said he expected intervention would stabilize the forex market. Investors awaited comments from US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner later in the day for any hints of Washington's reaction to the yen selling as investors focus on how intervention is received by Group of Seven countries.

Metropolitan

Question papers not leaked out: Job seekers

Most of the job seekers who took part in Pabna DC office staff recruitment examinations on Friday believed that the question paper of the examinations was not leaked out though the local ruling party men have made the allegation of the leakage.

Met dept quake info misleading

Information about earthquakes disseminated by the Bangladesh Meteorological Department was often misleading, says a seismic expert of Dhaka University.

Ten lakh tonnes of potatoes may remain unsold

Growers and traders are apprehending that about ten lakh tonnes of stored potatoes may remain unsold this year in the country due to over production and less consumption ratio.

'Autoimmune disease nine times more among women than men'

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), a chronic system autoimmune disease that can affect any part of the body resulting in inflammation and tissue damage, occurs nine times more often in women than in men.

14 killed, 26 injured in road accidents

Fourteen people were killed and 26 others injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Tangail, Gopalganj, Brahmanbaria, Manikganj, Gaibandha Narayanganj and Laxmipur districts yesterday.

Dipu for united efforts to attain MDG

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday observed that an integrated and united effort need to be adopted for attaining Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the stipulated timeframe, 2015.

'Project talented works to new generation'

Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad yesterday stressed the need for projecting life, works and ideology of talented persons to the new generation for driving the society in right direction.

JS residential sub-committee meeting held

The 7th meeting of the residential sub-committee of the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) was held at the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban here yesterday.

'Revise bill on vested property return act'

Some eminent personalities yesterday urged the prime minister to place the bill of Vested Property Return (amendment) Act in the next parliamentary session after necessary amendments in agreement with the Supreme Court verdict.

Govt to introduce ADR to reduce case backlog

Law Minister Barrister Shafique Ahmed yesterday said the government is working to amend both civil and criminal laws for introducing alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system in order to reduce the huge backlog of pending cases.

Speeding up of justice stressed

Speakers at a seminar here yesterday stressed on the need to change the old mindset alongside strengthening legislative, administrative and institutional measures to enforce alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system and speed up justice .

NSU fall orientation held

The orientation ceremony of the students of fall 2010 semester of North South University (NSU) was held on its campus at Bashundhara in the city yesterday, says a press release.

'Include environment clauses in constitution'

Right to a healthy and pollution free environment should be fundamentally included in the constitution said speakers at a discussion meeting yesterday.

Withdrawal of CNG pumps' 6-hour closure demanded

CNG pump owners at a meeting yesterday called on the government to withdraw the order to keep the pumps closed for six hours, as it is costing them a significant return on their investment.

Togolese journo wins Wash award

A radio journalist of African Togo won the prestigious water, sanitation and hygiene media award for 2009-10, according to a message received here yesterday.

600 tolas of gold, Tk 5.5 lakh looted in Ctg

Miscreants looted 600 tolas of gold ornaments and about Taka 5.5 lakh in cash from a jewellery shop at city's Reazuddin Bazar during Eid-ul-Fitr vacation.

Production at Ashuganj fertiliser factory suspended

Production at Ashuganj Fertiliser and Chemical Company Limited remained suspended since yesterday morning due to some mechanical faults at its Urea plant.

Signal no-3 continues

The low over the Northwest Bay and adjoining area is persisting and deep convection is taking place over North Bay and adjoining areas.

National

CU finally postpones fee hike decision

The Chittagong University (CU) authorities yesterday postponed their earlier decision of fee hike in the wake of student protest.

20 hurt as AL, BNP clash in 2 Noakhali upazilas

At least 20 people were injured in two separate clashes between the activists of Awami League and BNP in Sonaimuri and Begumganj upazilas of Noakhali district on Friday.

Kuet students go berserk demanding exam shifing

Students of Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (Kuet) went berserk on the campus on Friday night as the vice chancellor did not meet their demand to shift first terminal examinations of second and third year classes by 15 days from September 23.

JCD rivals clash in Barisal, 8 hurt

Eight people were injured as two rival factions of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) clashed in the city yesterday.

Erosion renders around 2,000 families homeless

Erosion in Manikganj rendered around 1,500 families homeless in the last one week and at least 270 families in Lalmonirhat in four days.

CVASU resumes office work with police help

Authorities of Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (CVASU) resumed administrative activities with police help yesterday as Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) enforced an indefinite siege since August 29.

Robbers kill house owner in Comilla

Robbers killed one person while looting his house in Comilla yesterday while four of a gang were held and arms recovered from their possession in Noakhali on Thursday.

Classes resume at RU amid tight security

Classes resumed at Rajshahi University (RU) amid tight security yesterday after a 17-day Eid vacation.

Hundreds join Gur Pukur Mela

The traditional Gur Pukur Mela (fair) began in Satkhira town on Friday through worshipping Devi Manasha (goddess of snakes) by Hindu devotees.

Patient's death triggers protest by relatives

Three employees of Patuakhali General Hospital were injured as relatives of a patient went into rampage following her death at the hospital yesterday morning.

Two sisters commit 'suicide'

Two sisters allegedly committed suicide by taking sleeping pills at Chakrampur village in Shibganj upazila Thursday night.

Five bombs recovered

Five powerful bombs were recovered from a house at Putkhali frontier here yesterday.

Urea output suspended in B'baria

Urea production at Ashuganj Fertiliser and Chemical Company Limited (AFCCL) remain suspended since Friday night due to technical glitch at the plant.

10 injured as transport workers clash

At least 10 people were injured in a clash between two groups of transport workers at Kurua bazaar in Sreebordi upazila Friday noon.

Letters

Dredging of Buriganga

The Daily Star has brought to our knowledge that ignoring a proposal of free dredging from some individuals, the BIWTA authorities are going to contract it out to a private party which will cost the exchequer nearly Tk. 7 crore (DS: 3.9.10).

Living in islands

You will see people sleeping on islands in Karwan Bazar and many other places.

Child labour

When we see little kids on the street working we don't make eye contact with them, when we do we see their sad tired eyes. We never take a second look at them; we think one look is enough. While they're in the boiling sun working to make our clothes we go to stores to buy them. We never stop to think about how much the little girl who made it gets. Now that's not our fault we're not the ones paying them poor wages. But we can help them.

Newspaper for the blind!

Your staff correspondent's interesting report on the matter,published in your pages on 2nd. September, is indeed a very noble step undertaken by 'Prothom Alo', a popular Bangla daily. It enables the blind to listen to the newspaper being read out, which has been established through access to a new website link!

Demand of Biman employees

The Biman, Bangladesh Airlines, authorities have bowed to the demands of the Biman employees. We are not sure if all the demands were logically acceptable. But how far was it worth to accept the way the employees have compelled the authorities to take such a defensive posture? They beat up some of the officers to realise their demands and finally have succeeded.

No Eid bonus and salary!

Due to negligence of the AG office, the employees of Dhaka Zoo didn't get Eid bonus and the monthly salary for August, 2010.

MPs and taxes

Thanks to the Daily Star for its editorial entitled "A matter of rights with obligations. Let our lawmakers pay taxes"(September 5,2010). Let our MPs correct the situation and convince the people of Bangladesh that lawmakers are not and cannot be above the law. Let them begin paying their dues to the republic. The nation's members of parliament are already some of the best-paid legislators in the world, a fact that has drawn fire from their constituents who believe they should be paid less. It is ridiculous that our MPs go home with huge perks per month while professionals like doctors earn less per month though they work more than 12 hours a day seven days a week! Our MPs? A few hours a week with more perks just for showing up! Take the money, but spare us the hypocrisy. Integrity of MPs should be measured by the same ruler they use for the same country. They really don't care about the welfare of ordinary citizens.

TV ads

Thank you for your piece on TV advertising (Star Business Wednesday, September 1, 2010).

Separate pay scale for BB

Not an engineer, not a doctor, not those brightest students working as teacher in the public universities ( BUET, DU), not those brightest boys and girls who joined in the civil service (not foreign or customs cadres) that will receive higher salary- it is those who joined the central bank (popularly known as Bangladesh Bank in our country) who will receive much higher salaries than those sections stated above. I came to know this from the newspapers some days before and was waiting for the reaction on this issue from respective corners.

Jute price

Once Jute was our main exportable commodity and it was called “The Golden Fibre of Bangladesh”. During the last three decades, farmers became reluctant to grow jute. Because farmers did not get their cost of production. Gradually most of the jute mills were shutdown.

SEC interventions

The security exchange commission has taken the following decisions in the recent past.

Killing by BSF

On Monday I was gravely shocked at the news published in The Daily Star that a Bangladeshi cattle trader was killed by BSF. The report says when the victim was crossing the border, he was caught, beaten up severely by BSF, and not only this, the tendons of his hands and legs were cut off and his body was thrown into the river Padma. How barbaric !!! What are my dear policymakers doing regarding the matter? I think he might have been an ordinary man but his life is as valuable as that of Very Very Important Persons. The authorities concerned are hereby requested to save our poor villagers from BSF's aggression. Effective steps will be taken, I expect. Only flag meeting is not enough to resolve the problem.

Foot over bridge needed

A picture appeared in The Daily Star on Tuesday, Aug 24, which shows some daring women braving the speedy vehicles of the busy road climbing the grilled road divider and crossing the road in a dangerous manner when the foot bridge is just a few yards away. The letter writer (01-09-10) felt very much concerned for such activities and requested others not to cross the road in such a life-threatening manner. But we who are leaving in East Rampura are forced to take such dangerous steps regularly many times in a day as there is no foot over bridge over DIT road at the East Rampura intersection. East Rampura is a thickly populated area where majority are low and middle class people. Kitchen market, other markets, bus stands, mosque etc. are on the other side of the two way DIT road. From dawn till midnight there is continuous flow of vehicles --bumper to bumper- on both sides of the DIT road. Every one leaving in East Rampura has to cross the DIT road endangering his/her life to meet the everyday needs of the life. A foot over bridge is very much essential there. In the last year of the past govt. a foundation stone for a foot over bridge was laid there but with the passage of time it has now vanished. Many accidents occurred there in the past causing even death. Minor accidents have become a regular feature. But the authorities concerned have remained silent.

BSF atrocities

I very sincerely thank Saleh Ayub for his letter of September 3rd where he wrote, "Almost every alternate day a poor Bangladeshi is killed by the BSF (Border Security Force) of India." It is not only a matter of shame but also a matter concern for the nation, whose citizens are getting killed on a regular basis by the neighbouring giant and the people keep on watching their movies, television channels, importing their goods and commodities and so on, as if rewarding them for their act of killing.

Animal Farm scene

The cabinet's decision for the ministers to submit summary tax statements in violation of the AL's electoral manifesto of 2008 reminds me of 'Animal Farm' a fable by George Orwell where Napoleon, the pig, set out some principles to rally the animals against manor farm owner Mr. Jones. But when Napoleon's power was firmly established after exploiting the principle of equality, the principle that 'all animals are equal' were changed into 'all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others' to justify the ruling class's special privilege.

Revise the decision

The recent decision of 10% cut from any fixed deposit or sanchay patra with retrospective effect appears to be irrational. These who went for fixed deposit earlier then July entered into a kind of financial contract with the government that they would get certain percent of interest if they deposit such amount of money. But the sudden decision of the government of reducing the interest on money deposited earlier than July 2010 amounts to a breach of contract.

Smoking in public places

Although smoking in public places has been banned by the government for quite some time now, people are still seen smoking anywhere and everywhere. Even during the holy month of Ramadan, smokers are lighting cigarettes and puffing out clouds of smoke onto the faces of other people. If I recall correctly, only a year ago, newspapers were flooded with reports of smokers being penalized publicly. Some wrongdoers also had to endure the humiliation of doing sit-ups in front of the ever curious general masses of Bangladesh. But now it seems everyone has forgotten that smoking publicly was ever a punishable crime.

Ershad's trial

With the High Court declaring the 7th amendment to the constitution illegal, H.M. Ershad's regime has turned illegal.

International

Intimidation and washable ink mar Afghan vote

Complaints of intimidation and wide-ranging irregularities including problems with indelible ink dogged Afghanistan's parliamentary elections yesterday, officials and witnesses said.

Election violence down on last year's: Nato

Nato's mission in Afghanistan recorded far fewer violent incidents aimed at disrupting yesterday's parliamentary election than during the presidential poll last year, a spokesman said.

Myanmar issues warning to Suu Kyi party

Myanmar state media warned opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's party yesterday to drop protests against its dissolution, and threatened jail for anyone impeding the November vote.

Drill reaches trapped miners

One of three drills being used to rescue 33 miners trapped in Chile since early August reached them Friday, but its 630-meter (2,070-foot) deep hole must now be widened to bring the men out safely, officials said.

Couple charged in nuclear weapons secrets case

A scientist and his wife who both once worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory were arrested Friday after an FBI sting operation and charged with offering to help develop a nuclear weapon for Venezuela.

Ahmadinejad sees resistance to West on rise

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared yesterday that resistance to the West is on the rise in the Middle East, after a meeting in Damascus with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad.

Pope expresses sorrow for abuse victims

Pope Benedict XVI expressed his "deep sorrow" yesterday for the "immense suffering" of children sexually abused by Catholic priests and nuns, on the third day of his historic state visit to Britain.

US Muslim summit planned over Islamic centre

A proposed Islamic centre near ground zero is slowly being embraced by some Muslims who initially were indifferent about the plan, partly in response to a sense that their faith is under attack.

Troops open fire in Indian Kashmir killing 3

Government forces opened fire on a funeral procession and a group of protesters in curfew-bound Indian-controlled Kashmir yesterday, killing three civilians and wounding at least 16 others, police and local residents said.

BP to complete sealing busted Gulf of Mexico well

BP sought yesterday to cap a months-long effort to end the worst maritime oil spill in US history after cementing in its ruptured Gulf of Mexico well.

Tens of thousands protest against German nuclear plan

Tens of thousands demonstrated in Berlin yesterday against the government's proposal to extend the life of Germany's nuclear power plants for another decade or more.

Tens of thousands protest against German nuclear plan

Tens of thousands demonstrated in Berlin yesterday against the government's proposal to extend the life of Germany's nuclear power plants for another decade or more.

WikiLeaks founder free to leave Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was free to leave Sweden, after prosecutors said there was no arrest warrant against him for an alleged case of rape, one of his lawyers said yesterday.

WikiLeaks founder free to leave Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was free to leave Sweden, after prosecutors said there was no arrest warrant against him for an alleged case of rape, one of his lawyers said yesterday.

Malaysian-Indian admits links with serial killers

In a new twist to the probe into a series of killings -- including of four ethnic Indians here, a Malaysian Indian businessman, whose wife was murdered last year, has admitted to having business ties with the two prime suspects.

Jupiter closest to Earth in nearly 50 yrs

Better catch Jupiter next week in the night sky. It won't be that big or bright again until 2022. Jupiter will pass 368 million miles from Earth late Monday, its closest approach since 1963. You can see it low in the east around dusk. Around midnight, it will be directly overhead. That's because Earth will be passing between Jupiter and the sun, into the wee hours of Tuesday.

Arts & Entertainment

Rabirag’s homage to Tagore

To celebrate the 150th birth anniversary (next year) of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore, cultural organisation Rabirag held a musical soiree, titled “Kobibondona” at National Music and Dance Centre Auditorium of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Dhaka on September 17.

Daggubati Ramanaidu receives India’s highest national cinema award

When the official announcement of India's highest national cinema award was announced on September 10, 74-year-old Daggubati Ramanaidu was busy living life the way he has always done -- by overseeing the shooting of his latest film. And when the news about his choice for Dadasaheb Phalke award reached him at a picturesque place in his home state of Andhra Pradesh, he just wiped the sweat off his face and was humility personified. “I'm indeed honoured by the award,” all that Ramanaidu told reporters on reaching the nearest major city of Visakhapatnam wrapping up the day's shoot.

Dance of the divine

On September 17, dance enthusiasts of Dhaka had the opportunity to witness an accomplished Indian danseuse perform Bharata-natyam. The recital featuring Nivedita Parthasarthy and her troupe was organised by Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, High Commission of India in Dhaka and was held at the main auditorium of National Museum in Shahbagh, Dhaka.

Abdul Mannan Syed remembered

Bangla Academy organised a memorial programme in honour of the recently deceased poet, writer and researcher Abdul Mannan Syed at the Academy premises on September 17.

Farooki and Tisha on “Amar Ami”

On tonight's episode of the talk show “Amar Ami”, newly married celebrity duo Mostofa Sarwar Farooki and Tisha will be present as guests.

“Ekti Onnorokom Premer Golpo” on ntv tonight

Single-episode TV play “Ekti Onnorokom Premer Golpo” will be aired on ntv tonight at 9 pm. Written by Rumman Rashid Khan, the play has been directed by Kaushik Shankar Das.

Actors turned directors shine at Toronto Film Festival

Hollywood's biggest stars are carving out acclaimed roles for themselves behind the lens, but Toronto Film Festival audiences bemoaned seeing them less on screen as a result.

OP-ED

Abolishing tax ombudsman's office

In its regular weekly meeting on September 13, the cabinet approved the draft of Tax Ombudsman (Abolition) Bill-2010 to scrap the Tax Ombudsman Act (TOA), 2005. The office of the tax ombudsman will stand abolished if the bill is passed in the Parliament.

Memo to PM: Ego is unflattering

Could it possibly be true? Has Manmohan Singh begun to believe what some admirers have started to suggest with incremental passion, that he is India's best-ever prime minister? The answer must be no. He is clearly not self-delusional.

Time for access to justice for all human rights

Imagine you have been denied medical care during delivery of your baby because you cannot pay a bill, but there is nothing you can do. Your child cannot get education because of where you come from but your demand for equality is ignored.

Banking sector challenges in Bangladesh

The banking industry in Bangladesh has flourished over the years, making double-digit profit percentages, sustaining growth and surviving cut-throat competition while providing attractive returns to shareholders. However, the greed for more without befitting platform and fundamentals, brings its own challenges and questions in people's minds.

An unfathomable marvel?

The downhill slide of our polities is continuing unabated. Sadly, nobody seems to pay any heed to this frustrating state of our polities. Ego, vendetta and expediency still reign supreme. Even during the intervention of 1/11, which was initially well received, the feeling that utter misrule and poor governance would be arrested failed to inspire people to promote good politics. The politicians think that all actions of such interventions will be scrapped to free them of the shame, as is happening now.



The Daily Star

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