The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, July 29, 2014


News of: Sunday, 3rd of October, 2010

Front Page

Misfortune-seekers

Once a welder, Mohidul Islam used to earn around Tk 8,000 a month at a workshop of Halsha market in Kushtia. He owned eight decimals of land and three cows--comfortable assets for a poor villager. But within a few months he ended up in the gutter with a debt of Tk 2 lakh to a local loan shark.

Free footpath drive from November 1

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain said the government has taken a bold step to remove all makeshift shops from footpaths for proper utilisation of walkways in the city.

Stalked, burnt, she dies finally

After fighting for life for five days, a teenage girl yesterday died of burn injuries inflicted on her by three youths for refusing to accept love proposal of one of the youths.

No govt is saint

Successive governments since 1972 have been empowering legislators to interfere with local government bodies' functions making those unable to work independently.

Ailing railway drops, delays trips daily

"Two train journeys from Dhaka to Chittagong in July took me two hours more than scheduled in each instance," said a disheartened passenger Sultana Chowdhury, a resident of Baridhara in the city.

Ensure media don't turn hostile to govt

The Awami League advisory council yesterday asked Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure that ministers, advisers and lawmakers mind their language while speaking to the press.

Comet and earth to have rare close encounter

Typically during the course of a year about a dozen comets will come within the range of amateur telescopes. Most quietly come and go with little fanfare, but during the upcoming weeks one rather small comet will be making an unusually close approach to the Earth.

People's sufferings mount at Mawa

Thousands of passengers remained stranded at Mawa and Kawrakandi ferry terminals for the last few days as six out of twelve ferries went out of order.

Sundarbans tigers smallest in world

The Sundarbans tigers may be the smallest tigers in the world, suggests a new study.

Indigo back to Bengal

Long gone are the days when the farmers refused to sow a single seedling of indigo plant and faced oppression from the British rulers.

No talks with US

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said no decision has been taken to send troops to Afghanistan.

3 Ctg girls acid-burnt

Three young girls of the same family suffered burns in their sleep, as miscreants poured acid on them at city's Joynagar early yesterday.

JMB's Dhaka chief held

The Dhaka divisional chief and two ehsar (fulltime) members of outlawed militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were arrested in Savar on the outskirts of the capital yesterday.

1 every 3 days in last 9 months

Law enforces killed one person extra-judicially on an average in every three days during the last nine months, revealed Odhikar, a human rights organisation.

Triple murder for property

The Jatrabari triple murder was committed by the victims' relative Sumon and two of his associates in a bid to grab family property, disclosed Sumon to investigators.

CNG pumps threaten strike from Nov 1

The owners of CNG refuelling stations yesterday called a non-stop strike from November 1 unless the government order to keep their pumps closed for six hours every day is not withdrawn by October 31.

Hajj pilgrim killed in road crash

A woman got killed when a rickshaw was hit by a pick-up van on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway in the capital's Jatrabari area early yesterday.

Editorial

Ayodhya verdict

Normally, we should not have been making a comment on a court verdict in another country. Yet, since the sub-continental countries are, by and large, populated by Muslim and Hindu communities, it is natural for us at this end to be airing views on a matter of inter-religious import.

Good news for CEPZ

We are certainly pleased that the Chittagong EPZ has been given a high ranking by the UK-based journal FDI. That despite all our problems, multifarious in nature, the CEPZ has been recognised in a survey of 700 economic zones as the fourth best in terms of economic potential and third best in the competitive category is certainly a moral boost for us. And indeed we do think that such a placing of the CEPZ can well be taken as a sign of the long way our investment-related activities can go. More importantly, though, we believe that the ranking should act as a spur to us in the matter of streamlining things on the national economic scene through injecting more vitality into other economic zones in the country.

Sports

Rain outscores New Zealand

Shane Jurgensen, New Zealand's bowling coach, said that they were disappointed with the situation of going into the five-match one-day series against Bangladesh later this week without a practice game under their belt.

XIX CWG open today

The world will get a glimpse of India's great heritage and tradition during a three-hour ceremony when the curtains on the XIX Commonwealth Games will be lifted at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi today.

No action on Day 2

The grandeurless opening of the footballers' transfers hit a blank when no clubs appeared to complete the registration formalities on the second day of the official transfers.

Vibrant Village

The thirty odd nine-storied new buildings surrounded by green on the eastern bank of river Jamuna may look isolated at first glance, but the signs of life will be felt as one gets closer to the Games Village of the 19th Commonwealth Games, which begins in the Indian capital today.

Ticket goes digital

The ticketing system goes digital for the five-match one-day series between Bangladesh and New Zealand to be held at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur from October 5.

Sehwag equals record

India rode on Virender Sehwag's record-equalling half-century to reach 110-2 in their first innings in reply to Australia's 428 in the opening Test on Saturday.

Lanka include Muralidaran

Muttiah Muralidaran has been included in the squad for the limited-overs tour of Australia in November as Sri Lanka build their team for the 2011 World Cup. Aravinda de Silva, Sri Lanka's chairman of selectors, said Murali remained an important part of the one-day set up, though he had retired from Tests and didn't play the recent tri-series in Sri Lanka which also involved India and New Zealand.

TT Leagues

Molar Table Tennis Club, Bangladesh Boys, Promising Juniors and Dhaka Wanderers Club won their respective Group A matches in the First Division Table Tennis League at the Wooden Floor Gymnasium yesterday.

Danone Nations Cup

The Danone Nations Cup in Pretoria, South Africa has been a mixed fortune so far for the boys from Khulna and Tangail. Both the teams won their opening matches, Khulna beating Colombia 2-0 and Tangail defeating Australia 3-0. But both trams lost their next three matches. Earlier on Thursday, the boys had went for a safari in the Pretoria zoo

Real's gift to Chile miners

Real Madrid has sent signed jerseys to the 33 miners who have been trapped underground in Chile and invited them to attend a match at the club's stadium in Spain once they are released.

Ancelotti grief-stricken

Carlo Ancelotti is expected to lead his Chelsea side into their meeting with Arsenal at Stamford Bridge despite the manager enduring the trauma of losing his father, Guiseppe, this week.

Wigan climb up

Wigan climbed out of the Premier League relegation zone with a 2-0 victory over 10-man Wolves at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

Rooney needs time

Wayne Rooney admits he will need time to play his way back into form as the Manchester United striker deals with the aftermath of lurid allegations about his private life.

Grosskreutz called up

Germany coach Joachim Loew has resisted the temptation to call up shooting stars Andre Schuerrle and Lewis Holtby for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Turkey and Kazakhstan.

'Dortmund are bigger threat'

German football legend Franz Beckenbauer insisted Saturday that Dortmund are a bigger threat to Bayern Munich's Bundesliga crown this season than new league leaders Mainz.

St. Pauli stun Hannover

Bundesliga newcomer St. Pauli continued their strong away form by beating host Hannover 1-0 Friday thanks to an early goal from Marius Ebbers.

Milan eye Leon

AC Milan are hoping to buy Real Madrid midfielder Pedro Leon, who has failed to make an impact at the Bernabeu since his summer transfer, a sports newspaper said Saturday.

Ade open to Juve switch

Manchester City striker Emmanuel Adebayor has revealed he would be open to joining Juventus.

Aguero out of Sevilla tie

Atletico Madrid's Argentine striker Sergio "Kun" Aguero will miss Sunday's league match at Sevilla after a training injury, the club said.

City suffer record losses

Manchester City's spending spree on players and salaries have led to record losses of 121.3 million pounds (191.9 million dollars), the club's annual report revealed on Friday.

Lorgat comes up with a new idea

Cricket Australia's plan to overhaul 50-over cricket with its radical split-innings 45-over version for the 2015 World Cup could be over before it starts, with International Cricket Council (ICC) chief executive officer Haroon Lorgat certain a one-day international league will save the game.

Nadal sent packing

World number one Rafael Nadal suffered a surprise 2-6, 7-6, 6-3 semifinal defeat by unseeded Spanish compatriot Guillermo Garcia-Lopez at the Thailand Open on Saturday.

Jankovic gets going

World number six Jelena Jankovic of Serbia opened her China Open campaign on Saturday with a gritty straight sets win over Czech veteran Klara Zakopalova, as play got under way in the women's draw.

Youzhny in final

Fourth seed and US Open semifinalist Mikhail Youzhny won an all-Russian tie at the Malaysian Open Saturday, reaching the Asian ATP final with a win over compatriot Igor Andreev.

Younus opens photo studio

Dejected after repeatedly being sidelined by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the national selectors, former skipper Younus Khan has opened a photo studio in order to "divert his mind" away from the game and make productive use of his time.

Malik waiting for a recall

Former Pakistan captain Shoaib Malik has expressed the hope of earning a recall in the national squad for the series against South Africa, which is scheduled to begin in Abu Dhabi from October 26.

Business

Earn trust to build nation's brand

To step up in the global business race, Bangladesh needs to brand itself internationally as trustworthy, and deliver on that promise, suggested speakers at the Leadership Summit 2010 in Dhaka yesterday.

Top drug makers log 30pc sales growth

Top four local pharmaceutical companies posted over 30 percent growth in sales in the first eight months of 2010, said officials, pointing to growing health consciousness, advanced manufacturing processes and new investments in the sector.

Draft guideline on NRB Bank awaits cabinet nod

Bangladesh Bank has made a draft guideline on a bank for non-resident Bangladeshis (NRBs).

Bangladesh to highlight reform at WB meet

Bangladesh is getting ready to present its financial sector reforms and benefit at the World Bank's (WB) group annual meeting scheduled for October 8-10 at its headquarters in Washington DC.

Minister pledges quick port turnaround

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan yesterday promised immediate steps to uplift the efficiency and capacity of Chittagong port in 15 days.

Essay contest on economic future opens

Dhaka University Economics Department Alumni Association (DUEDAA) yesterday launched a countrywide essay competition for the youth, seeking submission on a topic -- Economic Future of Bangladesh: Next 10 Years.

Business: from success to significance

The purpose of business should not be just making profit, but it must endeavour to ensure the wellbeing of the under-privileged, said an eminent business teacher in Dhaka yesterday.

Software makers launch country branding

Software makers and exporters yesterday launched a branding move with the slogan, Bangladesh Next, to promote the local software industry in the global market.

Stocks continue rising

Dhaka stocks continued to gain for a second week, as investors defy market cooling measures by the regulator.

Giant Group to set up Tk100cr RMG unit

Giant Group, a local export-oriented readymade garment company, is going to set up a composite factory at an investment of Tk 100 crore next year, its managing director Faruque Hassan said yesterday.

Agro fair kicks off Tuesday

A three-day international agriculture exposition will begin on Tuesday at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in Dhaka.

New chief for Shahjalal Bank Securities

Md Sanaullah Shahid has been elected the chairman of Shahjalal Islami Bank Securities Ltd, says a statement.

Awaiting a new minimum wage

At 5:20pm, Fazila Akter, 25, was tidying her rented room in a slum in the city's North Begunbari area, already home from her work as a sewing machine operator in a Tejgaon Industrial area garment factory.

Rise of the rest

Get ready for the next wave of globalisation. The emergence of the emerging markets is old news, of course: after all, Tom Friedman discovered that the world was flat back in 2005. But even as much of the developed world is struggling with weak consumer demand and stubbornly high levels of unemployment, the emerging market countries are writing a new chapter in the story of the global economy.

Indra Nooyi top businesswoman

PepsiCo Inc chief Indra Nooyi is the most powerful woman in US business for the fifth year in a row, but Yahoo Inc boss Carol Bartz is the highest paid, Fortune magazine said on Wednesday.

Asian markets mostly higher

Asian stock markets were mostly up Friday as traders picked up bargains after recent losses while strong manufacturing data from China eased fears of a slowdown in the world's second biggest economy.

Satyam shares slide 9pc on losses

Shares in India's Satyam Computer slid Thursday after the outsourcer reported two years of losses, sparking worries about its capacity to rebound from the country's biggest corporate fraud.

Oil crosses $80

Crude prices pushed through the 80-dollar mark in Asian trade Friday on better-than-expected US employment numbers and as protests rocked oil-producing nation Ecuador, analysts said.

Weekly Currency Roundup

Sept 26-30,2010
International Markets:
This week the broad weakness of the USD continued. By the end of the week there was some market correction, however the general trend continues to persist.

Microsoft sues Motorola for patent infringement

Microsoft filed suit against Motorola on Friday, accusing the US handset maker of violating its patents in smartphones powered by Google's Android mobile operating system.

Maruti posts highest monthly sales in Sept

India's largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India, reported Friday record monthly sales of more than 100,000 vehicles for September, driven by strong consumer demand and cheap finance deals.

United, Continental finalise mega-merger

United Airlines and Continental Airlines announced Friday they had completed their merger that creates the world's biggest carrier.

Wal-Mart expects to have 3m staff globally

US giant Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, expects to have three million staff globally in the next five years, up from about 2.2 million now, a senior executive said Thursday.

Metropolitan

Number of liver patients on rise

At least 80 lakh people with hepatitis B are prone to serious kind of liver diseases, which should be handled by skilled hepatologists, said hepatologists at the inauguration of Livercon 2010, the 9th biannual international conference of Association for the Study of the Liver, Bangladesh (ASLB) held at a city hotel yesterday.

Call to involve 20 more expert lawyers to make trial a success

Writer Shahriar Kabir yesterday stressed the need for involving at least 20 more experts and skilled lawyers to carry out the trial of war criminals.

Excluded from viva: 28th BCS candidates seek non-cadre posts

The 28th BCS candidates, who were excluded from viva, demanded their immediate appointments to the non-cadre posts in the government services before the final results of 29th BCS exams are out.

Only JS can amend constitution: Delwar

BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain yesterday said none other than the parliament has any authority to amend the constitution.

College student dies in wall collapse

A college student was killed when the boundary wall of an under-construction building collapsed on him at the city's Kalyanpur area yesterday.

Two crushed under train's wheel

Two people were crushed under an intercity train at Parbatipur upazila in Dinajpur on Friday midnight and Thursday night.

Conference on prison reform on Oct 6-7

An international conference on prison reform in developing countries titled "Locked up and forgotten?" will be held at the Police Staff College at Mirpur Section 14 in the city on October 6-7, says a press release.

Boy sustains burn injury in Ctg

An adolescent boy sustained burn injuries as a chemical loaded drum fell on him here yesterday.

Cargo ship catches fire

A fire was broke out at a cargo ship of Bangladesh Shipping Corporation (BSC), which was being repaired at Chittagong Dry Dock yesterday night.

HC registration section to remain open on Saturdays

The registration section of the High Court Division of the Supreme Court (SC) will remain open for business on Saturdays from now on.

DRU Society's audit begins

Dhaka Reporters Unity Bahumukhi Samabay Samity (Multipurpose Cooperative Society) Limited requested members, persons or organisations to solve any due transaction with the Samity.

Shykh Seraj honoured

Shykh Seraj has achieved the Golden Jubilee Honour Awards for his contribution to increasing public awareness about agriculture and development through both print and broadcast media in Bangladesh, says a press release.

Gandhism a way out of world conflicts

Speakers at a seminar yesterday said while fight against violence would go on, the people must not forget to wage war against the elements that make way for violence.

Musa Ibrahim joins Sundarbans campaign

Musa Ibrahim, the first Bangladeshi to conquer Mount Everest on May 23 this year, assured to do his best to help the Sundarbans become one of new seven wonders of nature in the world.

Form body to check adulteration of food

Speakers at a seminar yesterday demanded of the government to form a food and drug administration department to implement the laws to ensure food and drug safety as well as to check adulterated and toxic food.

Bangladesh medical team returns from Pakistan

Prof Khan Abul Kalam Azad who led a 40-member medical team to treat flood victims in Pakistan returned home yesterday, saying that the post-flood situation has now improved there.

Two killed, six hurt in road mishap

At least two people were killed and six others injured in separate road accidents in Gaibandha and Magura yesterday.

Make policy to control use of plastic

Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (Bapa) yesterday demanded of the government to prepare a policy to check the use of plastic packaging and bottled products to reduce environment pollution.

German radio to launch Bangla programme

Deutsche Welle (DW), Germany's international broadcaster, will officially launch Bangla programme in DW-Radio from next Wednesday in Bangladesh, says a press release.

Indigenous students demand constitutional recognition

Indigenous students in Dhaka yesterday formed a human chain in front of the Aparajeyo Bangla at Dhaka University demanding constitutional recognition of the indigenous people in the country.

Breast cancer death rate high in Bangladesh

Sixteen percent of the total cancer affected women in the country are victim to breast cancer, says a World Health Organisation (WHO) study.

Woman murdered in city

A woman was strangled in her own flat at the city's Mirpur Shah Ali yesterday afternoon.

Mediators Assoc formed to improve ADR practice

Bangladesh Mediators Association, a fresh union of trained mediators, made its appearance in the city yesterday with a view to improving the alternative dispute resolution (ADR) system.

National

Hospital, CS office vandalised in Jhenidah, Gaibandha

Unruly jobseekers ransacked Jhenidah General Hospital and Gaibandha civil surgeon's (CS) office yesterday, alleging irregularities in recruitment against vacant posts under the health department.

Video footage of college teacher's illicit act

Authorities of Binodpur Degree College in Shibganj upazila of Chapainawabgnaj district yesterday decided to suspend a teacher as publication of a video footage of his illicit act with a former female student of the college created commotion among the students and locals.

Six cops hurt in BCL attack in Khulna

Six policemen were injured as they came under attack by a group of Bangladesh Chhatra League activists at Daulatpur in Khulna city on Friday night.

Dowry-greedy husband kills wife in Satkhira

A dowry-greedy husband allegedly beat her wife dead at Chupria village in Satkhira Sadar upazila on Friday.

BM College students protest fee hike, clash with police

Police clashed with agitated students of Barisal Government Brojo Mohon College after they held rally and laid siege to administrative building demanding cancellation of examination fee hike yesterday morning.

5 Rangpur BNP leaders hurt by rival party men

At least five leaders of BNP district unit were injured as rival party men attacked them at the party office yesterday evening.

13 Shibir men arrested in Moulvibazar

Police arrested 13 activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS) at a house in Teligul area at Baralekha upazila headquarter on Friday.

Outlaw arrested

A hardened criminal and member of an outlawed party was arrested at Shakharipara village under Pabna Sadar upazila early early yesterday. The arrestee is Amod Ali alias Amod, 45, of the village. Contacted, officer-in-charge (OC) of Ataikula Police Station Sirajul Islam said, acting on a tip off, police raided the village and arrested Amod at an orchard. They also recovered two sharp weapons from his possession. The arrestee is an accused in 10 cases including one for murder, the OC said.

Trader shot by criminals

A trader sustained bullet injuries when criminals shot at him in the town on Friday night. Criminals fired three rounds of gunshots at Pratul Dutta, 42, when he was returning home from his shop at launch ghat in the town. He was admitted to Gopalganj 250-bed Hospital. As Pratul's condition deteriorated, he was sent to Khulna 250-bed Hospital. Injured Pratul's younger brother Ramesh Dutta, 35, quoted his brother as saying that at around 8:00 pm, four criminals riding three motorbikes obstructed Pratul on Manikhar Bridge. They also beat up Pratul before firing gunshots. Locals recovered seriously injured Pratul and took him to hospital. Contacted, Gopalganj superintendent of police said they are investigating the matter.

Rickshaw-puller takes his life

A poor rickshaw-van puller committed suicide by taking poison at Barobila village in Tala upazila due to family feud yesterday, police quoting family members said. The dead, Mofiz Morol, 22, was son of Nafer Ali Moral of the village. Police said, Mofiz took poison at about 1:00 pm and he died on way to Satkhira Sadar Hospital. Police recovered the body and sent it to the hospital morgue for autopsy.

10 hurt as rival students clash

At least 10 students were injured in a clash between two rival groups on Ajmiriganj College campus in Habiganj yesterday afternoon. Of the injured, Sajid Miah, Ruhel and Abdur Rahman were admitted to Ajmiriganj health complex while others took first aid. The incident took place as a sequel to an altercation between two students Manir Uddin and Sajid Miah over a trifling matter. Later, local AL leaders and police reached the spot and brought the situation under control. Two students, Humayun Kabir and Sohel Miah were arrested, police said.

Park staff on strike

The lone children's park in the city's Nawdapara remained closed yesterday as all its 40 staff observed a day-long strike demanding salaries. All children and guardians who came to visit the park returned home as they saw the staff of the park were on strike. Rezaul Islam, an agitating employees' leader said they used to get Tk 1,300 each as monthly salary but they are supposed to get Tk 3,650 as per government rules. Employees said, they submitted a memorandum to the authorities concerned a week ago to raise their salaries but none paid any heed to their demand. Shahjahan Ali, manager of Domestic Electric Technological Services (DETS) which operates the park said, they are holding meetings with both the city corporation and the employees for resolving the issue.

Two arrested with arms

Two youths were arrested along with firearms at a village in Faridganj upazila on Friday morning. The arrestees are Rakib Hossain, 19, and Nayan, 20, of East Santospur village in the upazila. Acting on a tip-off, police raided the house of late Siraj Daktar at Char Borali village and recovered one LG (light gun) and one cartridge from their possession. The arrestees admitted that they had brought the firearm from Cox`s Bazaar on Thursday to sell on black market. Both the youths were produced in Faridganj Judicial Magistrate court that placed them on two days' remand.

Students block road

Angry students of THG High School in Bianibazar upazila town blocked Sylhet-Bianibazar road yesterday morning protesting alleged corruption of the school's managing committee.

3 held for ransacking temple

Gobindaganj police arrested three people in connection with vandalising a Hindu temple in Gobindaganj upazila of the district yesterday. Police said a gang of criminals led by Litu Mondol attacked Shibbari Kali Temple at Boalia village and vandalised it Friday afternoon. Litu Mondol has been creating trouble for long claiming ownership of .05 decimal plot of the temple and a case is under trial at a local court, said Shailen Moham Roy, president Gobindaganj Upazila Puja Udjapon Parishad. Following filing of a case against 19 people, police arrested Abdul Bari, Shamsul Islam of the Boalia village and Sujan Mia of Ramnathpur village.

Letters

Hydraulic horn

Hydraulic horns are banned by law in our country. But I am a bit sceptical if there is any implementation of the ban. On the city roads I used to hear the high-powered hoots of the hydraulic horns, especially in the trucks after dusk.

Electronic admission process

This year different universities have taken an excellent initiative about undergraduate admission. Dhaka University and many other engineering universities have introduced an electronic system for filling up admission forms and the payment of fees. Using the Internet and the state-owned Teletalk connection, an admission seeker can easily apply for admission to any of these universities sitting at home. No more travelling for hours to get to the university, no more standing in queues and no more hassle in submitting the form and other necessary papers! An efficient way to save papers, and, of course, time. This system has been developed by the teachers of Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Sylhet, and this project has rightly earned itself the National e-content award. We also appreciate this innovation. But this achievement has also put the government face to face with some new challenges. Access to Internet has to be ensured. As the payment has to be made only by using a Teletalk connection, many will have to go to shops or mobile phone booths to pay the fees. The charge for providing this service should be minimal and it should be the same all over the country.

Set up new gas pipelines

On September 10th, I, along with two of my friends, was walking through S.M. Maleh Road at Narayanganj in the morning. Suddenly, we got a smell of natural gas. After a while, we discovered that it was coming out of the drain beside the road. Within an hour, we found the same condition in Kutipara road, Nayamati road and Loyal Tank road. It was the day before Eid, so we were just wondering what would happen if anybody would throw a burning cigarette on the road? Our surmise was correct, that at 10.25pm of the same day when we were gossiping on that road, all on a sudden there was something aflame on the road and it was a burning piece of cigarette. The fire spread quickly. After 15-20 minutes, people from local fire service station came and extinguished it.

Airport bus service

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to travel to many different countries. In all airports I have seen airport bus services for commuters to travel between the airport and different parts of the city. This service was utilised by passengers, airport employees and anyone who wished to go to the airport to receive relatives or for other purposes. The buses were big, air-conditioned and had designated bus stops for them. These buses also had adequate luggage space. As this service was very affordable, many airports or airline employees did not bring their cars to the airport. This reduced a lot of congestion in the airport areas, traffic jams on the airport roads, and people did not have to worry about parking their cars in the expensive and limited airport parking lots.

Global competitiveness

Bangladesh has again failed to uphold its global business competitiveness index exhibiting a downward trend that reflects country's miserable investment climate. Except for a few indicators such as- training and education, and financial market sophistication, most of the indicators show a deteriorating position. For the economic development of the country, it is mandatory to have a congenial business climate where various factors that are relevant to business and commerce are stable and ensured in the most efficient manner. Major indicators such as- macro-economic stability, higher education and training, market size, and innovation have not shown any significant improvement, whereas other indicators have either deteriorated or remained somewhat stable at a lower level. But the major blow was infrastructure that has shown a significant downward trend. Infrastructure is the most important element for the economic development of a country. But it is a matter of great regret that our infrastructure facilities have been rather downgraded over time than to have shown any sustainable, better outlook. Transportation system remains inefficient. There has been a huge power shortage in the country prevailing for a long time but the authorities concerned have not taken any effective measures yet. We have to keep in mind that trivial improvement is not the solution, as our competitors, like Vietnam, Indonesia and some other countries, are doing better than us and grabbing all the opportunities. But it shouldn't have happened. We have a huge and cheap labour force along with a sizable demand for goods and services in the country.

A corrupt nation

The other day (September 21, 2010) turning on the television, I happened to see a treasury bench member speaking on the microphone at the National Assembly on rights and privileges enjoyed by the MPs and the negative attitude of the media towards them. Since it sounded interesting, I kept watching BTV, which was telecasting live the parliament session. Later on, the Honourable Speaker of parliament took over and began delivering his speech. At one point he mentioned that some car dealers met him with the purpose of supplying cars for the MPs and that they would reward him with a sum of Tk. 200 crore if a purchase of Tk.800 crore is made (not sure about the figure). The Honourable Speaker, being an honest man, got alarmed and decided to refrain from such a venture and refer the matter to the Honourable Prime Minister. With the Honourable Speaker's speech at the National Assembly, it has now become officially established that this nation is indeed a corrupt nation, irrespective of what the TIB says or not. The party in power always denies the TIB report on corruption.

Coaching centres

Have any one of you ever tried to understand what is going on in the name of coaching outside the schools in the so-called English Medium schools? I am a poor father of a student of O-level. The teachers of O & A levels in different schools are engaged in coaching outside their schools. Two thousand and five hundred bucks a month is the fee for the Two-days-a-week service. Besides going to their respective schools, many students start to go there for each subject, as soon as they are promoted to grade nine. The prime effort of the coaching centres is to prepare the students for the exams. As a result, having been utterly confused, the parents like me are going from door to door for finding out the right (?) coaching centre. The situation of the students is even worse. From 8 am - 2 pm they stay at schools and after that until 9 pm they stay at the coaching centres. Their weekends are also not spared. What a pity that the poor kids are running like a spool in a weaving machine for getting a bigger score in the exams. We, the parents, are indeed responsible for this. It is because of our demand that the coaching centres continue to exist and grow.

Good taxpayers

Since the taxes paid by the people to the government for development work can be compared to the blood coursing through the veins nourishing the human body, it is commendable that the government has started to recognise the good taxpayers. On the occasion of National Income Tax Day on 15 Sep 2010, the Finance Minister himself distributed crests to as many as 348 taxpayers from all parts of Bangladesh. I am surprised that no one from Dhaka or Chittagong, the dens of iniquity, was named in the DS report.

Will we ever improve?

When will we improve? Will we ever improve? Though I am an eternal optimist, this particular question has me stumped. The character and general behaviour of Bangladeshis have a lot to do with both the following issues: A bloody clash between the supporters of the ruling party and BNP took place at the John F Kennedy (JFK) International Airport in New York in the USA on last Sunday wounding at least 10. The clash occurred centring the New York visit of Bangladesh Prime Minister wanting to join the UN session. When Prime Minister arrived at the airport and went inside, the bloody clash took place between the supporters of the two parties outside the airport. The NY police controlled the situation.

Match fixing

From the very beginning cricket has been treated as a gentleman game. But that image is now in a threatened position. Cricketers sometimes fix the result of a match for huge financial benefits. This is the impact of massive commercialisation of cricket. Even the International Cricket Council (ICC) seems to be helpless in this situation.

Anthrax hazard

According to the latest report, 589 people have been infected with Anthrax so far, since the middle of August. Anthrax was first detected in Bangladesh on August 20 in Sirajganj district. Despite measures taken by the local government, the disease spread into six districts of the country.

Intolerable!

Traffic jam, load shedding and gas crisis have crippled our daily life. These are the main news of almost all the national dailies of the country. The Awami League cadres assaulted the government officials in Pabna. Chhatra League cadres are doing the same around the country.

JFK airport incident

What happened at JFK airport in New York on 19 September 2010 afternoon is very sad. The activists of BNP went there to demonstrate peacefully against Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's totalitarian practices and human rights violations in Bangladesh. If they could demonstrate peacefully, I do not think Sheikh Hasina would be terribly humiliated, because many prime ministers and presidents have to undergo such embarrassing experiences. By attacking the BNP protesters and turning the airport area into a battlefield, those Awami League activists dishonoured our beloved country. Sheikh Hasina was also mortified and had to use a 'safe exit door' to leave the airport.

Communicative English

He is right in saying it is amazing what high grades in English tests and examinations can be gained by those who go out into the world tongue-tied when it comes to speaking the language - but then I have come across English MA's of whom the same can be said! However, how hard it would be to find an incorruptible way of testing speaking ability, considering what has happened to writing ability! In many schools, corrupt systems have evolved via memorised questions and answers and even whole essays learnt by heart - never name copying - all enabled by 'helpful' big brothers, sisters, parents and Private Tutors - and the notorious grammar books and their ilk. Such books, and people, enable some students to achieve what they consider their prime aim - how to get a good mark in the next English test, usually by finding a way in which words can flow from the pen to the paper without, at any point, needing to go through the brain. I have even known parents who, in accusing tones, call 'UNSEEN!' any questions in tests that are not identical to the ones that can be memorised from the student's exercise book or, as it is universally, and inaccurately, called here, their 'copy' - an unfortunate reflection on how it is often used. Teachers, sadly, are often fully aware of the cheating 'games' that are being played but permit them as if they stand in the way of the short-term aims of such pupils and their parents, complaints may be made to Management and they could lose their jobs. Thus the failure of firm and fair discipline to purify the system and the attitudes and practices in it perpetuate the mess that schools can get into. Giggling and saying, “This is how we do things in Bangladesh and we can't do anything about it,” may be factual but it is still an insult. You see, the main problem with English in Bangladesh is surely not the lack of people who can speak English but the shortage of people who can write it! Many are those who can confidently (but usually inaccurately) chatter away but ask them to write anything down and see them disappear…!

International

Focus now on two other cases

Now that the Allahabad High Court has delivered its verdict on the Ayodhya title suits, the immediate focus shifts to two other important cases arising out of the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.

Musharraf comeback looks remote

Pakistan's ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf has spent two years building a Facebook following and cultivating the media but few believe his audacious plan to recapture power has any chance of success.

Police accused of beating AP reporters in Kashmir

Two Associated Press journalists were assaulted by police Friday at a roadblock in Indian-controlled Kashmir, and one was knocked out by blows from rifle butts and batons.

US missiles kill 16 Pakistani

Two suspected American missile strikes killed 16 alleged militants in a northwestern Pakistani tribal region yesterday, intelligence officials said, a sign the US is unwilling to stop using the tactic despite heightened tensions between the two countries over Nato's recent border incursions.

CIA chief visits India to discuss security

US Central Intelligence Agency chief Leon Panetta made a stopover in New Delhi to discuss security threats in the South Asian region after visiting Pakistan, a report said yesterday.

CIA steps up drone attack in Pakistan: Report

The US military is secretly diverting aerial drones from Afghanistan to escalate a CIA-led campaign against militants in neighbouring Pakistan, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

'Extra-judicial killing' video faked: Pak army

Pakistani military officials have dismissed as fabricated a video purporting to show a firing squad of uniformed soldiers shooting dead young men who were blindfolded and bound.

Guatemala calls US test 'crime'

US testing that infected hundreds of Guatemalans with gonorrhoea and syphilis more than 60 years ago was a "crime against humanity", Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom has said.

Long road to justice for Congo victims

Rights groups yesterday welcomed a UN report on crimes committed in Democratic Republic of Congo as a first step towards accountability but said the potential for victims to win justice remained slim.

Iraqi political deadlock breaks world record

Political parties in Iraq have broken the world record for the amount of time taken to form a new government.

Train crash in Indonesia kills 36

A train crashed into another parked at a railway station in central Indonesia early yesterday, killing at least 36 people and injuring dozens, many seriously, officials and witnesses said.

Palestinians mull ME talks walk-out over settlements

The Palestinian leadership has said it will not continue peace talks with Israel unless a freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank resumes.

Brazil to vote for president today

Brazil's 135 million voters appeared poised to elect Dilma Rousseff, a former Marxist guerrilla turned career civil servant, as their first woman president in elections today.

Chile miners could be rescued this month

The 33 Chilean miners trapped for almost two months could be freed in the second half of this month as rescuers drill closer to their refuge deep below the Atacama desert, Chile's mining minister said on Friday.

Arts & Entertainment

Great gig for a great cause

After a long gap, on October 1 Army Stadium rocked to the riffs of some of the leading band icons of the country. The occasion: “Concert for Sundarbans”, one of the biggest musical extravaganzas of recent times. This time country's rockers gathered together for a great cause-- to create awareness and to collect votes for the Sundarbans-- the largest mangrove forest of the world-- to become one of the seven new natural wonders of the world.

Remembering Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad

On the occasion of the 57th death anniversary of legendary litterateur Abdul Karim Sahitya Bisharad, Bangla Academy organised a discussion programme at the Academy's Seminar Hall on October 30. Noted researcher Dr. Muhammad Abdul Jalil read out an essay on Sahitya Bisharad's life, work and his contribution to Bengali literature. Professor Ahmed Kabir and Tareq Reza were discussants at the programme. Shamsuzzaman Khan, Director General of Bangla Academy delivered the welcome speech. Veteran educationist Serajul Islam Choudhury presided over the memorial programme.

Cultural personalities join hands to boost tourism

Eminent artistes, cultural personalities and travel agencies of Bangladesh and West Bengal, India came together at the historic site of 'Shompur Buddha Bihar ' in Paharpur of Naogaon district.

International Children’s Film Festival held

The first International Children 's Film Festival began in Rangpur town hall last Thursday, drawing a huge audience mostly the school children from the town.

Heritage: Boats race through the Jamuna

A traditional boat race was held in Jamuna River at Sadar upazila of Tangail on Friday, amidst much festivity.

DS Café

DS Café has received a tremendous response from you, the readers. We want to involve you more. Now the readers get to vote for the celebrity of the month and we'll have him or her at DS Café respond to your questions. Every month we'll give a choice of three noted cultural personalities and the one receiving the most votes will be on the hot seat at DS Café. This month's shortlist includes (A) artist-cartoonist Rafiqun Nabi (Ronobi); (B) actor Mosharraf Karim; and (C) singer-lyricist Krishnokoli Islam.

Russian Centre observes 80th anniversary of Tagore’s visit to Russia

September 29 saw a huge turnout at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Dhanmondi in Dhaka where a programme was organised by the Bangladesh- Russia Friendship Society to mark the 80th anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore's visit to Russia , says a press release.

OP-ED

UN Millennium Development Goals: Prioritising rights and resources

At the beginning of the new millennium world leaders adopted the UN Millennium Development Goals as a common commitment to end poverty by 2015. Last week, they gathered in New York to take stock of progress.

Who are target of roadside bullies?

Aneza of Jamalpur is another addition to the long list of young girls dying at the hands of roadside bullies, who are often indulgently called "eve teasers." They first target the girls who are usually on their way to school and then start constantly pursuing them, making advances and hurling abuses at them. The girls so targeted are denied a normal life for many days by these young criminals.

Unanswered questions about the garments wage issue

Don't come around today, gondogol' -- the text-message blipped on my phone. Garments workers were allegedly going on a rampage in Gulshan, protesting the minimum wage award that was announced earlier that week. According to eyewitness accounts, the people attacking the Wal-Mart office -- a major buyer -- didn't look like a spontaneous mob. There were all sorts of speculations: war criminals were behind this; oh no, it was the Indians out to destroy our economy.

Living wage is not just wages

Every day, when the millions of employees of the several thousand garments factories, hundreds of thousands workers of the several hundred knitwear factories or the several thousands of workers of the few hundred spinning mills head off to work, they are busy thinking of the several daily chores and expenses as is expected of any earning professional in any other company in Bangladesh. We all seek earnings for housing, food, education, utilities and some savings for a rainy day. Others more fortunate can begin to think of some savings to take care of parents, sharing in some creature comforts and finally, some helping hand to the less fortunate.

Made in Bangladesh

On a wintry morning in 1978 in my office in Chittagong Deputy Commissioner's house, I meet this maverick former civil servant now turned an entrepreneur asking my help to get his imported garment machinery off loaded from Chittagong customs. This was Nurul Quader, a senior colleague of mine, who had left the service to pursue his talent in the private sector, and had hit upon this rather adventurous concept of making readymade garments following the South Korean model. There was some snag in clearing the equipment for the fledgling industry he had set up, which he called Desh Garments. This was done in no time, but for me the million dollar question to him was why at all he had landed in this adventure when he had scores of other opportunities to try his business acumen.

Getting and staying active in later life

Old age is neither a disease nor an individual problem; rather, it has become a worldwide challenge that must be addressed globally. "Later life" is unavoidable, inevitable, universal and excessively troublesome. No one can stop the process of ageing. The quality of life and the rate of ageing both vary considerably depending on a number of factors such as education, occupation, purchasing capacity, lifestyle, food habit, residential location, belief and culture, etc.

Nationalism's last frontier

It is June 11, 2008, a Wednesday, and the rain is absolutely pouring down in the Swiss city of Basel. Grey clouds swirl ominously above and beyond the open roof of St. Jakob Park stadium where supporters find every little bit of shelter that they can. Out on the pitch, however, hosts Switzerland are playing Turkey in a winner-take-all clash. This final game in Group A would determine who would make the quarterfinals of Euro 2008.


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