The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, April 23, 2014


News of: Friday, 1st of October, 2010

Front Page

Deadline over, shops stay

Lives of thousands of Old Dhaka residents still remain under constant threat as traders in the area continue to store and sell combustible chemicals defying government orders.

Ayodhya site to be divided

A court in India yesterday ruled that the disputed holy site in Ayodhya should be split between Hindus and Muslims, but both sides plan to appeal.

Admin reels from Pabna shock

The much-publicised row between a ruling party lawmaker and local administration for the last one week over recruitment of only 12 low-ranked staff in the Pabna district has put the issue of good governance and credibility of the government on the line.

2 Pabna ADCs made OSD

The government yesterday withdrew two more officials from Pabna and made them officers on special duty (OSDs) following the row between the district administration and ruling party men centring the September 17 attack on government officers.

Form separate cell to probe HR violations

The National Human Rights Commission yesterday sought a separate investigation cell to look into human rights violations in Bangladesh.

Babar asked police not to nab NSI men

Former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar directed Sabbir Ali, former police commissioner of Chittagong, not to arrest NSI officials engaged to help offload arms and ammunition at CUFL jetty on April 02, 2004.

3 of a family murdered

Unidentified criminals yesterday killed three members of a family including two women at their Jatrabari residence in the capital.

Lack of commitment spoils CHT accord

The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Peace Accord has not been implemented even 13 years after it was signed due mainly to lack of commitment in successive governments, indigenous leaders and civil society members said yesterday.

Tax return deadline now Oct 7

The National Board of Revenue (NBR) yesterday extended the deadline for submission of income tax returns to October 7 on 'special consideration' following strong demand from leading business chambers.

2 firms place proposals after long delay

After 17 months of the re-tendering of the Bibiyana 450 MW gas-fired power project, two companies submitted their proposals to the Power Cell yesterday.

Target to regain 'lost credibility'

Newly appointed Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque yesterday urged lawyers and judges to work together to restore “the lost credibility of the court”.

One held for suspected LeT link

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) Wednesday night arrested a man for his suspected link with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistan-based militant organisation, at Madaninagar in the Siddirganj upazila of Narayanganj.

Power ministry proposal sent back

The cabinet committee on purchase yesterday sent back a power ministry proposal to award a Chinese company a 200-300 megawatt power project in Ghorashal as another Chinese company filed a complaint against it.

Six govt officials face contempt rule

The High Court yesterday issued a contempt of court rule against six government high officials for issuing no objection certificates (NOCs) to import scrap vessels violating its orders.

Bus drivers sued over Sayedabad accident

The gateman of Sayedabad Railway crossing, the site of Wednesday's train-bus collision, was among the six killed and a case was filed yesterday with Government Railway Police (GRP) station at Kamalapur accusing the two bus drivers.

Editorial

AG's remarks on retiring CJ shocking

It is our considered opinion that the remarks made by Attorney General Mahbubey Alam at the farewell for retiring Chief Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim on Wednesday were unprecedented, uncalled for and unbecoming of the office he happens to hold. The convention has always been that every time a chief justice goes into retirement and his successor enters upon office, other judges and the lawyers' community in general take it as an opportunity to reflect on the positive aspects of the functioning of the judiciary. A farewell to a chief justice is a formal practice, but within that formality comes the question of a demonstration of respect for and graceful remembrance of tenure of the one who is going into retirement. Such an occasion has never been a time for acrimony or for an expression of bitterness on the part of any individual. If an individual temperamentally or professionally feels unable to accord due respect to a retiring or incoming chief justice, he can do the tidy thing of staying away from the occasion altogether.

Reception of PM at airport

WE congratulate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on her successful trip to UN during which she received an award for Bangladesh's attaining an MDG goal of reducing child mortality rate. She was praised by US President Obama and took the opportunity of meeting some world leaders having had useful exchanges of ideas with them. Her trip has certainly brightened the image of Bangladesh.

Sports

Rain ruines 1st practice game

Today's first limited-over warm-up match between the visiting New Zealand and BCB XI was called off due to wet outfield at the BKSP in Savar following incessant rain over the last few days.

Transfers open today

The players' transfer for the 2010-11 football season begins today with very little expectations of the usual last-minute drama, with most of the excitement centered around the emergence of a new force and the reinvention of a former champion.

Harbhajan doubtful

Indian star off-spinner Harbhajan Singh is doubtful for Friday's opening Test against Australia in Mohali due to a leg injury.

Text opens door for Bennett

Earlier this month, Hamish Bennett said how shocked he was when coach Mark Greatbatch texted him and asked if he would like to tour Bangladesh.

The Daily Star reach final

Destiny was against The Daily Star. But it is destiny that has taken The Daily Star to battle a team they famously won against ten years ago.

Man Utd leave it late

Javier Hernandez earned Manchester United a smash-and -grab 1-0 win at Valencia in the Champions League on Wednesday, while Samuel Eto'o notched a hattrick as Inter Milan thrashed Werder Bremen.

VDV on cloud nine

Rafael van der Vaart, the Tottenham midfielder, reckons his team-mates can topple Champions League holders Inter Milan without him.

Eto'o happy with Rafa

Inter Milan boss Rafael Benitez is better for strikers than his predecessor Jose Mourinho, according to nerazzurri forward Samuel Eto'o.

Rubin frustrate Barca

Spanish giants Barcelona were held to a 1-1 draw by Russian champions Rubin Kazan in their Champions League Group D encounter at Kazan on Wednesday.

Berbatov rules out return

New Bulgaria coach Lothar Matthaeus admitted Thursday he has failed in his bid to persuade Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov to come out of retirement to help his country qualify for Euro 2012.

World Champs sans Xavi

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque on Thursday unveiled a 20-man squad which did not include Barcelona playmaker Xavi for the world champions' Euro 2012 qualifiers against Lithuania and Scotland on October 8 and 12.

No room for Toulalan

France coach Laurent Blanc called Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri, Dimitri Payet and Yoann Gourcuff into his squad to face Romania in a Euro 2012 qualifier on October 9 and Luxembourg three days later.

Contador suspended

Three-time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador of Spain, who was suspended Thursday after failing a dope test, blamed the positive result on contaminated meat, in an emotional protest of his innocence.

Butt apologetic

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt said Wednesday he was withdrawing comments alleging England players had 'thrown' this month's third one-day international at The Oval.

Schiavone in semis

Fifth seed Francesca Schiavone took over three hours to beat Kaia Kanepi of Estonia in the quarterfinals at the Pan Pacific Open women's tennis tournament on Thursday.

Abahani champions

Abahani lifted the United Oil Women's Handball League title with a 26-13 win over Azad Sporting Club at the Handball Stadium yesterday.

China to play HK Sixes

China are to appear at the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes in November as they plot their rise to international prominence, organisers of the annual tournament announced on Wednesday.

Women's nat'l cricket

Khulna and Rajshahi secured comfortable wins against their respective rivals in the Women's National Cricket League at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Nazmul in as unofficial backup

Pacer Nazmul Hossain has been called into the national team camp as a precautionary measure after Rubel Hossain was struggling with a pulled muscle.

Delhi welcomes Queen's Baton

The beleagured Organising Committee (OC) chairman, Suresh Kalmadi, almost had a fall, as the Queen's Baton was received by Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Tejender Khanna and Chief Minister of Delhi Shiela Dikshit in a chaotic and reverberating atmosphere here on Thursday.

Enayet, Shapla in badminton semifinals

Enayet, Raees, Javed and Porosh moved into the men's semifinals of the Advocate Abdur Rab Smriti Summer Open (Ranking) badminton tournament at the Shaheed Suhrawardi Indoor Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Amal, Sharda win titles

Top seed Amal Ray won the men's crown in the Shahjalal Islami Bank Open tennis tournament at the National Tennis Complex (NTC) in Ramna yesterday.

'Adriano wanted to commit suicide'

The mother of AS Roma forward Adriano has claimed her son wanted to commit suicide during the depths of his depression.

Business

BB runs 'health test' on non-banks

The central bank has run the first-ever 'health check-up' on 29 non-bank financial institutions, officials said yesterday.

25 companies fail to make e-shares

Twenty-five listed companies have failed to convert their paper shares to electronic ones within the stipulated time period, and so the premier bourse has delisted the firms from the main trading board.

Onion prices spring up

Local onion prices are soaring because of a rise in the cost of imports of the commodity from India.

Aspirant beauticians get a face-lift

The government should provide IT training to the rural women, particularly working in the agriculture sector, a former caretaker government adviser said yesterday.

Workshop suggests more revenue income for local government

A suggestion came from a workshop in Dhaka yesterday that taxes on mobile phone towers, rural electric poles and auto-rickshaws could be lucrative sources of income for the local government.

BAT teams up with IBA on talent development

British American Tobacco Bangladesh has joined hands with the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of Dhaka University to help develop talents in the country.

BB cuts interest rate for exporters

Bangladesh Bank has revised the rate of interest on loans taken by exporters from the Export Development Fund, according to a circular sent to all banks yesterday.

SME Foundation goes paperless

The SME Foundation yesterday launched its paperless office in an effort to cut costs, increase productivity and provide better services to stakeholders.

Capabilities stagnant, says Social Watch

Bangladesh remains stagnant at 61 in the Basic Capabilities Index (BCI) for the period between 2000 and 2010, according to Social Watch Report 2010 launched yesterday in Dhaka.

India boasts record 69 billionaires: Forbes

Tycoon Mukesh Ambani kept his title of richest Indian as the fast-growing economy minted 17 new billionaires in 2010, driving the total to a record 69, according to a Forbes rich list Thursday.

Tourism fair abuzz with visitors

EBL Bangladesh Travel and Tourism Festival pulled in a large number of visitors on the first day.

Oil down

Oil prices were down in Asian trade Thursday but a drawback in US crude inventories and strong data from the Chinese manufacturing sector ensured prices were well-supported, analysts said.

Corporate Briefs

KARNAPHULI INSURANCE
The new face value of the insurer's shares, following the change of denomination and market lot with effect from yesterday (the record date), will be Tk 10 instead of Tk 100, market lot will be 100 shares instead of 20 and the new adjusted open price for each share will be Tk 113.20.

Metropolitan

Yunus gets Peru's highest award

Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus received the highest national award of Peru, "Order of the Sun," in the grade of "Grand Cross" at a ceremony in Lima on Wednesday in recognition of his innovative efforts in fighting poverty.

'Illiteracy-free country by 2014 a big challenge'

The government's one of the big challenges is to free the country of illiteracy by 2014; a massive campaign involving all stakeholders is the only way to reach the goal, speakers told a discussion yesterday.

Frame farmer-friendly agri policy

Speakers at a national consultation meeting yesterday stressed the need for formulating a farmer-friendly agriculture policy incorporating recommendations of the growers to ensure effective development of agriculture sector.

Call to ensure commuters' safe walking

Speakers at a protest programme yesterday demanded cancellation of the government decision that anyone who does not use pedestrian overpass will be taken to 24-hour imprisonment as of November 1.

Govt only to follow tribunal's directives

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said action against the war criminals would be taken as per the directives of the International Crimes Tribunal.

Bangabandhu's photo hung in CJ's office

A photo of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was hung in the Supreme Court Office of the Chief Justice yesterday.

2 killed in road crash, villagers burn bus

At least two motorcyclists were killed and another was injured in a road accident on Dinajpur-Bochganj road at Dhukurjhari bazaar of Biral upazila in Dinajpur yesterday.

Hons course in Kamil,Fazil introduced

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday said the government has introduced a charter of change in madrasa education by launching Bachelor (Honours) degree in Kamil and Fazil in the country.

Van-puller murdered in Khulna

A van-puller was murdered in front of a firewood shop in Shiromoni area of Khulna city at about 10:00am yesterday.

2 factories fined for pollution

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined two factories a total of Tk 52 lakh for discharging untreated liquid waste in the Shitalakkhya.

Arrest warrant against ex-DIG, wife

A Dhaka court yesterday issued arrest warrants against former deputy inspector general of police (DIG) and his wife in connection with a case filed against them for stealing seven children in 2006.

BCL fury: DU students return to hall

After five hours of forced stay on the open field at night, around 50 students of Shahidullah Hall of Dhaka University, who fell victim to Chhatra League fury, were let return to the dormitory around 4:00am yesterday.

Channel i hits its 12th today

First digital satellite television channel in Bangla, Channel i, enters its 12th year of operation today.

Court summons Sayedee's counsel

A Dhaka court yesterday summoned Barrister Fakhrul Islam to appear before it on October 26 in connection with a defamation case filed for his comments about the country's Liberation War.

MoU on Islamic affairs signed with Saudi Arabia

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the field of Islamic affairs and call was signed between Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh in the city on Wednesday, says a Saudi Embassy press release.

Expelled AL leader killed in 'shootout' with Rab

An expelled leader of the ruling Awami League (AL) was killed in a 'shootout' with Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) at Bastuhara in Dumuria upazila of Khulna yesterday.

BAU online admission process begins

Bangladesh Agricultural University has introduced online application system for admission seekers to undergraduate courses, says a press release.

CID gets more time to submit probe report

A Dhaka court yesterday extended the time again for submission of the probe report in a bribery case filed against former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan alias Shah Alam, and two others till November 11.

Two senior judges passed over: BNP

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said two senior judges were passed over in the process of appointing the new chief justice.

Gateman among six killed

The gateman of Sayedabad Railway crossing, the site of Wednesday's train-bus collision, was among the six killed and a case was filed yesterday with Government Railway Police (GRP) station at Kamalapur accusing the two bus drivers.

National

Tk 23cr Mongla Port project suspended since mid June

The 'Navigational Aids to Mongla Port' project has remained suspended since mid-June this year following reports of gross irregularities in implementation of the Tk 23 crore project.

Give constitutional recognition to indigenous people

The speakers at a rally of Rakhine community have demanded constitutional recognition and rights of the indigenous people with separate socio-cultural-ethnic identity for their survival in different regions of Bangladesh.

Commuters suffer on decrepit Netrakona-Mohanganj road

The 28-kilometre Netrakona-Mohanganj road connecting Netrakona with the rest of the country has become awfully dilapidated, causing an untold suffering to about 24 lakh people in eight upazilas of Netrakona and Sunamganj districts.

Heroin worth Tk 1.5 cr seized from night coach, five held

BDR personnel seized heroin worth about Tk 1.5 crore from a Dhaka-bound night coach from Burimari land port in Lalmonirhat town on Wednesday night.

Argument in Sunamganj grenade attack case Oct 7

Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal Judge Muhammad Mahbub Ul Islam on Wednesday fixed October 7 for argument in two cases filed after the grenade attack on a rally of AL leader Suranjit Sengupta MP in Sunamganj in 2004.

Extortionist arrested

Extortionists damaged at least five CNG-run vehicles at Kashinathpur bus stand on the Dhaka-Pabna highway yesterday morning.

Ruling party men 'grab' private land at Cox's Bazar

Three leaders of associate organisations of ruling Awami League have allegedly grabbed land of five plots worth about Tk one crore belonging to five persons including teachers and housewives inside Chandrima Housing Society at Kolatoli in Cox's Bazar town.

Gun, bomb seized in Jhenidah, one held

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered a pipe gun, a bomb and bomb making materials from Hudakushabaria village under Shailkupa upazila early yesterday and arrested a man on the spot.

Sedition case against Sayedee's lawyer

A sedition case was filed against Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee's lawyer Barrister Fakhrul Islam here yesterday for his objectionable remarks about country's Liberation War.

Man beaten to death in Khulna

A man was beaten to death by a timber trader in the city's Shiromoni area yesterday morning.

Letters

Traffic rules

A news report published in The Daily Star on September 22nd caught my attention. The caption read, “Ban likely on mobile talk while driving.” The decision of the government to make buckling seatbelts while driving and wearing helmets when riding motorbikes mandatory is certainly commendable. In any law-abiding country this is the norm. But here in Bangladesh violation of law is the norm! In this country enforcement and implementation of law is missing. There are strict laws for polluters of environment, but we see that trees are being felled regularly; rivers, lakes and canals are being grabbed illegally; buildings are being built violating building codes. And in most cases, the organisations responsible to oversee these has also become partners in crime. So, it remains to be seen whether actually all the drivers in the country buckle their seatbelts and motorbike riders wear helmets from November 1st. It is very likely that many will not pay any heed to the new law because they know that in this country anything is manageable. They know that in this country law is not implemented strictly. The report further states that “anyone crossing the road instead of using a nearby footbridge or underpass would be taken to police custody for at least 24 hours.” This initiative is also commendable though somewhat unrealistic for the traffic police to achieve with their given manpower and efficiency. While in our country law is not enforced, at the same time the citizens are also at fault for having developed a habit of breaking the law. Some citizens would dump waste on the streets instead of dumping it in a dustbin. And most people do not use the footbridge. People who have given their plots to real estate developers do not really care that rods and other materials flood the streets of their neighbourhood causing sufferings to general people of there area and so on.

Climate change

Is "climate change" a rather belated recognition of what has been happening on earth since billions of years ago? This has been postulated by Nobel Prize (1998) winning Physicist Robert Laughlin. He states that over the vast span of geologic time, our planet Earth has adjusted itself, even after many glacial episodes, which tend to occur at fairly regular intervals, of every hundred thousand solar year of 365 days! This is a cycle of slow cooling followed by rapid (in geologic time scale) warming, like the gradual rise of temperature that we see today! However the animal kingdom, including the human race, was never a party to it. Our current efforts to reduce the use of geological fuel, and go for sustainable energy options in order to reduce our 'carbon foot print' and containing carbon dioxide gases being released to atmosphere will not affect it. Laughlin believes that all the carbon dioxide that we may produce, will dissolve in the ocean water and subsequently it will be deposited in rocks, forming carbonates. In the human time frame this may span an eternity, but in the geological scale of time it is equivalent to just a few seconds! Laughlin rather believes that the changes that we may cause to happen will be through the biological "extinction of animal species", which is irreversible, unlike 'climate change effects'. Many species of today which have lesser adaptability to nature's changing environment will gradually become extinct, like the dinosaurs. Meanwhile, new species, adaptable to thrive in the changing environment will continue to thrive!

Let's plant trees

Trees are called the lungs of the planet, for good reason at that. They play a vital role in helping control air pollution by taking in carbon dioxide, storing the carbon and releasing oxygen during photosynthesis. In addition, the leaves remove from the atmosphere harmful substances such as nitrogen oxides, airborne ammonia, some sulphur dioxide and ozone. At the same time, they're cooling the air by releasing water vapour through their leaves in a process known as transpiration. Trees also serve as collection sites for dust and harmful manmade particulates so that they can be washed to the ground. And all too often, I think, we take the functionality of trees for granted. If we really care about our planet earth, we need to cut down less trees and plant more trees. We need to make others aware about the benefits of planting trees. A lot of trees in Sundarbans are being cut illegally. The government must do something to stop it.

Online Voices

Media bashed at Sangsad (September 22, 2010)

In India, Sonia Gandhi and Pranab Mukherjee made a strict point to their ministers and MPs to practise austerity. They all have to fly economy class. Also, the Congress does not criticize the media for reporting against it. It rather tackles media criticism through very good spokespersons.

SEC's role

Capital market in our country is passing through a crucial time, because right now over 10 million people are directly or indirectly related to or dependent on it. It provides scopes for jobless people to do something.

Health advisor's statement

The recent statement made by the health adviser raised many questions and is totally unacceptable. His comment is opposed to the RTI and violation of the constitution. Article 19 of our constitution states that "the state shall endeavour to ensure equality of opportunity to all citizens". This clearly means that the state shall not be biased in case of creating opportunities.

River pollution

All of us know the condition of Buriganga very well. Buriganga was the only source of water for all the Dhaka city dwellers once, but now the river is dying. The untreated sewage and the harmful chemicals from the industries have further aggravated the deplorable condition of the river. Almost half of the aquatic lives are extinct now and the rest are on the verge of extinction, as the condition of the river is deteriorating day by day. The solution is to set up a sewage treatment plant and stop disposal of chemicals directly into the river. This will save the aquatic lives and also the environment. By treating sewage we can get fertiliser, which can be used in the agricultural fields. Methane gas is another by-product of sewage treatment process and this can easily solve gas crisis in the city.

Anti-Bangladesh propaganda

Since last 2-3 months a new wave of anti-Bangladesh international propaganda is being waged by a certain quarter of a country. During 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, that country and its all-powerful army surrendered unconditionally to Bangladesh (and Indian joint command). It seems that the false propaganda has been inked with 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War Crimes trials now ongoing in Dhaka. On the other hand, I have not seen any counter response from Bangladesh side and it appears that the Bangladesh is sleeping with closed eyes.

Political dissent

The news may not be very significant for people at home, but definitely a cause for concern to the Bangladeshis living in the United States. This has demonstrated the unruly character of our politics having little tolerance to opposition. Right to political disagreement is well recognised in the States, but that should be peaceful without creating any chaos and confusion in the minds of other people moving around.

Indo-Bangla joint venture

As reported in The Daily Star, dated 31.08.10, two national companies of Bangladesh and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for setting up two coal-fired power plants of 1320mw each in Chittagong and Khulna under joint venture. Under the MoU, a member board of directors will manage the joint venture with Bangladesh as its chairman and an NTPC representative as the managing director for the first eight years before switching over to three- year rotational system. The two countries will by rotation hold the post of chairman and managing director for a period of three years, said the MOU. Bangladesh and India will have an equal number of nominees--four each in the board. The power plants, to be set-up at a cost of Rs.13200 crore (2.78 billion US dollars) with 50:50 equity and 70-80 percent liquidity managed through debt financing, are likely to be operated by India. The NTPC will manage the plant while PDB or other government officials will participate in its operation. As per company rule, the shareholders according to the ratio of shares will manage the joint venture company and the directors representing each partner according to the share shall constitute the board of directors. The company will follow the prevailing companies Act 1994 of Bangladesh and be registered with the Registrar of companies and firms, Bangladesh with its Memorandum of Association and Article of Association of the company elaborating the authority of the board of directors of the company and the character and jurisdiction of the activities of the company. Utmost care must be taken in making the Memorandum of Association and Article of Association of the company so that the interest of Bangladesh is safeguarded. As the share of partners is equal, it will not be possible to take decision where there is a difference of opinion creating stalemate in functioning of the company. As such it is suggested that as the power station being constructed in Bangladesh, BPDB should be given major share and it can be BPDB and NTPC share 60:40 for smooth functioning of the company.

Bank loan

Sitting away from home, we hear about many changes that are taking place in my native country. We also feel great hearing about expanding facilities for business openings and bank loan opportunities. Easy bank loans for business, house constructions, car loans, loans for buying household appliances and personal loans, which, only a few years back were unknown, are now at doorsteps of many. More than dozens of foreign and local public and private banks are functioning in Bangladesh. There is no such Ward in Dhaka where there are no bank branches. These banks offer easy credit facilities without collateral security. Some banks appointed special marketing officers to hunt the homes of the prospective customers, allure them with many unseen lucrative packages to extend loans. It is of course, encouraging news for expatriate Bangladeshis who want to return home and invest their savings in their home country. Whenever there is a gathering of Bangladeshis on special occasions, many enquire and want to know about the real investment situation, some even request the seniors to help collect such information. On request I contacted over phone a close friend, a businessman who gave me an account of his own experience of bank loan, interest and services. According to him, he took Take 10 lakh as personal loan from a bank two years back for 3 years' credit. The loan's interest rate was initially fixed @20.50 per cent. He paid instalments on regular basis without any single instalment missing. After two years of payment he decided to foreclose the account by paying up one years balance principal at one go and get rid of his loan. He went to the bank to find out his outstanding amount to settle the account one year before of closing date. On check he found to his utter surprise that his outstanding loan is still more than half of what he took. While he insisted to give him detailed explanation, the bank officer disclosed the criterion they followed in the recovery process. What the bank did, it calculated the total interest to be payable in 3 years and adjusted the total in 2 years keeping the principal amount unpaid. Now, even if he forecloses the account he will have to pay the same amount which he could pay in next one year in equal instalments. He also found that in practical termsthe interest rate charges came to more than 25-30% inclusive of services charges, closing charges. He surprisingly found that even a postage charge of a letter was debited from the customer's account. The bank interest in Bangladesh is highest in the world. In the USA car loan interest is only 0.95%, house loans and other loans is within 4%. In India no financial institution is allowed to charge more than 8% interest, in Pakistan the highest interest rate is 9%, whereas, Bangladeshi banks charges 14 to 20% interest even on long-term industrial loans. The banks' interests double and triple in five years. There is no such business in the world, which can make such profits, as do the banks in Bangladesh. Despite highest numbers of loan defaulters the banks in Bangladesh growing faster than any business house. There is no regulator to regulate the activities the banks there. In the above situation, if an expatriate invests his hard earned savings in Bangladesh in cooperation with a bank there, I am sure, in 4/5 years he will lose all his savings and return to US to join his odd job again. In these circumstances, should I advise my friends to go back and invest?

Gift not needed!

Nowadays it has become a fashion that some people ask the guests not to bring any gift for the bride or groom in their wedding function. What they need is 'dua' or blessings. But the point is, dua or blessing is also a gift, and readers will agree that it is the greatest gift. Meanwhile, I think instead of spending so much money in entertaining the guests, families who are not willing to accept gifts should contribute their money to an orphanage or spend it in some philanthropic work.

International

Indian PM appeals for clam after Ayodhya ruling

India's prime minister led appeals for calm after a court verdict yesterday divided a disputed holy site in the northern town of Ayodhya between Muslims and Hindus.

Pakistan cuts Nato supply line

Pakistan blocked a vital supply route for US and Nato troops in Afghanistan yesterday in apparent retaliation for an alleged cross-border helicopter strike by the coalition that killed three Pakistani frontier troops.

Rajapakse okays Fonseka's jail term

Sri Lanka's president approved a 30-month jail term for his former army chief and political rival yesterday, confirming a military court verdict that he was guilty of fraud. The decision disqualifies the ex-general from continuing as an opposition lawmaker.

Junta to free Suu Kyi after polls

Democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi will be released just days after Myanmar's first election in two decades, officials said yesterday.

Musharraf warns of coup in Pakistan

Pakistan is at risk of another military coup, warned its former army chief Pervez Musharraf, advocating a constitutional role for the army in the country's turbulent politics.

World's first 'cyber super weapon' attacks China

A computer virus dubbed the world's "first cyber super weapon" by experts and which may have been designed to attack Iran's nuclear facilities has found a new target -- China.

Govt to free Kashmir stone-throwers

Authorities in Indian-administered Kashmir say men detained for throwing stones at security forces during the current protests will be released immediately.

Taliban reject Karzai's peace council

The Taliban have rejected Afghan President Hamid Karzai's latest bid to move toward peace talks, dubbing a High Peace Council "failed and impractical" and denying that senior Taliban leaders were in contact with Kabul.

Afghan opium production 'halved': UN

Opium output in Afghanistan, the world's biggest producer of the drug, has dropped by almost half this year due to a poppy crop disease but its value has soared, a UN report said yesterday.

New Malaysian sultan strips brother's royal titles

Malaysia's newest sultan, who this month ousted his father to become royal ruler of Kelantan state, stripped his brother and arch-rival of royal titles and awards yesterday.

New Malaysian sultan strips brother's royal titles

Malaysia's newest sultan, who this month ousted his father to become royal ruler of Kelantan state, stripped his brother and arch-rival of royal titles and awards yesterday.

Germans, Britons behind Europe terror plot

Eight Germans and two British brothers are at the heart of an al-Qaeda-linked terror plot against European cities, but the plan is still in its early stages, with the suspects calling acquaintances in Europe to plan logistics, a Pakistani intelligence official said yesterday. One of the Britons died in a recent CIA missile strike, he said.

Arts & Entertainment

Port City Rock: 'My 31st Demerit'

Students breaking rules at William Carey Academy Chittagong are handed demerits; and once their bad deeds add up to 31, expulsion follows. With rebellion in mind, students of the Academy formed the band 'My 31st Demerit' in 2007.

A creative trio

Radius Centre in Gulshan has organised a group art exhibition featuring the works of three painters: Tarikat Islam, Rajat Sen and Dipak Kundu. Of the three, Rajat and Dipak are from India, although their family roots go back to Bangladesh. Rajat is the son of noted Indian poet Samarendra Sengupta and his family hails from Purana Paltan in Dhaka. Dipak's ancestral roots are in Bogra. Due to the Partition (1947) both families migrated to India.

Of men and music 4: The making of Sachin Korta

In the late twenties, His Master's Voice, popularly known as HMV, the most powerful recording company of the time roped in Kazi Nazrul Islam as a trainer under Ustad Zamiruddin Khan, the Chief Trainer. On the other hand, HMV rejected Sachin Dev Burman on the ground that his voice had a nasal twang! Kundanlal Saigal also had the same fate. Undeterred, 'Sachin Korta', as he was then known, continued his struggle from his one room apartment at Palit Street, Calcutta.

Drama staged to create awareness on disease management

A play with a message was staged on the premises of Pankhaiya Para Marma Unnayan Sangsad under Sadar upazila in Khagrachhari district last Tuesday night. The aim was to create awareness about various diseases, especially malaria.

Theatre at a glance

Kinu Kaharer Thetar
Theatre troupe Prachyanat staged its 15th production “Kinu Kaharer Thetar” at Studio Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on September 29. Written by Manoj Mitra and directed by Kazi Taufiqul Islam Imon, the play transports the audience to an imaginary country named Puttna, ruled by a fraudulent king. The satire moves forward with several humorous incidents that ultimately lead the audience to a crucial truth.


The Communicator
Centre for Asian Theatre (CAT) staged it's latest production “The Communicator” on September 29 at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy as part of the ongoing Ibsen Festival. Directed by Kamaluddin Nilu, the play highlights contemporary global crises and relates them to Ibsen's omnipresence in society through depicting the master playwright in an innovative way.
Binodini
Dhaka Theatre staged its much-acclaimed production “Binodini” at the Experimental Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on September 29 marking the 12th anniversary of Channel i. The play is a narrative, based on the 19th century pioneering Bengali theatre actress Binodini Dasi's autobiographies -- “Amar Kotha” and “Amar Abhinetri Jibon”. Highlight of the play is the soulful solo performance by noted actor Shimul Yousuf. Nasiruddin Yousuff is the director of the play. Saymon Zakaria, with guidance from the late Selim Al Deen, dramatised the work. 'Shadhu Bhasha' (formal Bangla) has been used in the play.

OP-ED

The day Parliament attacked press

ON September 21, the lawmakers in this country supposedly had a field day in the Parliament. They lambasted a few newspapers, berated an editor and then reiterated their dissatisfaction with the role of the media. The speaker was jovial, the members were convivial, and the whole thing had the air of a festival. Freedom of expression was met with freedom of expression. They must have gone home that night and slept tight for the first time in many months.

'Basket Case' no more

NOT long ago, when you thought of a South Asian country ravaged by floods, governed by bumblers and apparently teetering on the brink of chaos, it wasn't Pakistan that came to mind. That distinction belonged to Bangladesh.

Choosing a mayoral candidate for a mega city

A student of Adamjee Cantonment College was crushed under the wheels of a bus in the city's busy Farmgate intersection yesterday afternoon […] Mirpur Road blocked over student's death. 25 hurt in clashes." Such news items along with discussions of endless woes due to nightmarish traffic jams have become commonplace in the newspapers and other media. They are symptoms of deeper problems of runaway urbanisation of the city of Dhaka.

Bullying at workplace

YOU have just finished working on a project proposal for the office that you gave your heart and soul to during a weekend, not to mention the bouts of acidity attacks you had due to 10 cups of coffee to keep you awake, added with icy glares from your better half, only to come to work on Sunday and receive no acknowledgement for your hard work and efforts on the paper from your supervisor. Your line manager passes the (your) proposal to his superiors, very conveniently forgetting to mention your hard work in giving it a shape.

StarTech

Turning dreams into reality

Shampa Akter, a homemaker and entrepreneur of Kushtia, was not present at the biggest gathering of Nokia held recently in London. But her success story has been narrated to the world of mobile technology as an example of how mobile phones can develop and change the lives of ordinary people, even in the least developed countries.

Online war archives

Winner e-culture and heritage category.
“… we were told to kill the Hindus and Kafirs (non-believer in God). One day in June, we cordoned a village and were ordered to kill the Kafirs in that area. We found all the village women reciting from the Holy Quran, and the men holding special congregational prayers seeking God's mercy. But they were unlucky. Our commanding officer ordered us not to waste any time...” (confession of a Pakistani Soldier)

HP brings Multiseat Computer system

In a view to save vast amount of time and money on client management, maintenance and upgrading difficulties, Hewlett-Packard (HP), a global technology giant on Sunday launched Multiseat Computer system.

Fact or fiction? Facebook film the latest "truth" tale

They say Hollywood never lets the truth get in the way of a good story and while a new movie about Facebook has left some critics wondering if its story is fact or fiction, audiences are unlikely to care.

Dell expands operation

Dell, one of the leading technology corporations in the world, on Wednesday announced expansion of its operation in Bangladesh and setting up of a resident office in the capital.


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