The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Tuesday, September 23, 2014


News of: Monday, 4th of October, 2010

Front Page

Babar now accused

Former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar has been accused and shown arrested in cases linked to the country's largest ever arms haul in Chittagong on April 2, 2004.

Bangladesh not sending troops

Bangladesh will not send forces to Afghanistan even if the US shows up with a formal request for troops.

Old Dhaka hub left out of first day's drive

Day one of the drive against warehouses of combustible chemicals in the city's residential areas yesterday ended without visiting its nerve centre in Old Dhaka amid lack of coordination between the mobile court and fire service officials.

Recruitment in 9 dists stopped

The government has suspended the recruitment of the class-III and class-IV employees for health department in nine districts for alleged political influence, corruption and irregularities in the process.

Industrial police launched

The industrial police, a specialised unit of law enforcers, formally started its journey yesterday, aiming to maintain order in the country's four industrial zones.

Establish women's rights in all spheres

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has called for concerted efforts among South Asian countries to address the challenges of establishing women's rights in all spheres of life.

HC issues rule on BGMEA building

The High Court yesterday issued a suo moto rule upon the authorities concerned asking them to explain within two weeks why they should not be directed to demolish Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) building at Hatirjheel in the city.

EC decision slated in JS

Two senior Awami League leaders in parliament yesterday accused the Election Commission of violating the constitution by interfering in the jurisdiction of parliament and the speaker.

Govt working on national media policy

The government is working to formulate a national broadcasting policy soon for newspapers and satellite television channels, Information Minister Abul Kalam Azad told the House yesterday.

Babar blamed AL after seizure

After the largest ever arms haul in Bangladesh's on April 2, 2004, the then state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar blamed the Awami League for hatching a conspiracy against the government.

Forest dept rejoinder, our reply

In a rejoinder to our reports headlined "Logging fest" published on September 20 and "Forest men not guilty" published on September 22, the Department of Forest says two out of three Padma chars were denuded in 2007-08 and erosion is still washing away trees, so plundering of trees in last six months is not true.

National edn policy placed in parliament

The national education policy 2010 has outlined a plan for building an efficient education administration with various measures including formation of a permanent education commission and an accreditation council for proper implementation of the policy.

2 factories fined for pollution

The Department of Environment (DoE) in a drive at Chittagong Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) yesterday fined two industries around Tk 33 lakh for water pollution.

JS passes bill on quick energy deals

Parliament yesterday passed a bill for introduction of a new law providing the government with sweeping authority to quickly award energy sector contracts on unsolicited negotiation basis.

Give full marks for erroneous questions

The High Court yesterday directed the Public Service Commission to publish the results of 30th Bangladesh Civil Service preliminary test and award candidates full marks for 11 wrong questions on the disputed set-2 question paper.

WB to loan $75m for Aila recovery

The World Bank (WB) approved $75 million to support Bangladesh in its project for recovery from the damage caused by Cyclone Sidr and Cyclone Aila.

Court's decision on BDR carnage charges Oct 31

A Dhaka court will decide on October 31 whether the charges against 801 Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) jawans and 23 civilians for the carnage at its Philkhana headquarters on February 25-26 last year would be taken into cognisance.

Singer Bipul fighting for life

Swadhin Bangla Betar Kendra artiste Bipul Bhattacharya is fighting for his life at a city hospital.

OMS to be expanded to upazilas

The Open Market Sale (OMS) of rice at Tk 24 per kg will be extended to the upazila level within a couple of days to contain price hike of rice, said Food Minister Abdur Razzak.

Youth held over sending SMS to GM Quader

Rapid Action Battalion arrested a youth who sent a text message to Civil Aviation Minister GM Quader.

Rajuk knocks down illegal structures in parking spaces

Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) yesterday in a drive demolished illegal structures in car-parking spaces of five buildings at the city's Rokeya Sarani.

Editorial

Extrajudicial killing

We cannot but express our serious concern at the report published by a human rights organisation Odhikar in Bangladesh that every three days, one person falls victim to extrajudicial killings. There have been ninety such deaths between January and September of the current year. And the aggregate figure killed since early January 2009 when the Awami League coalition government assumed office, that exceeds 200, conveys a horrendous picture. That is what causes us concern, and calls for a government probe into the magnitude of the number.

AL advisory council's suggestions to PM

The Awami League advisory council has urged Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to ensure that ministers, advisors and party lawmakers do not, in their public pronouncements, use language that might turn the media hostile to the government. We welcome the advice, given the fact that in recent weeks it has been the hostility of certain leading figures of the government towards the media that has surprised the country by its vehemence. Lawmakers have most unfortunately engaged in a bad demonstration of media-bashing in the Jatiya Sangsad, to a point where unseemly attacks were made on the person of the editor of a reputed newspaper. It was an attack that was not only unprecedented but also deeply disturbing, especially when juxtaposed against the government's repeated assertions that it believes in a free press. Then again, attempts by some powerful elements in the ruling party to dismiss the disturbing happenings in Pabna as a media exaggeration only surprised citizens because they were all aware of the truth.

Sports

Sports get going today

After making an impressive debut in the Commonwealth Games 20 years ago with a gold and few bronze medals in New Zealand, Bangladesh have since performed inconsistently in the showpiece event. But Bangladesh are now expecting big in the seven disciplines they are taking part in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Razzak upset at NZ advantage

Left-arm spinner Abdur Razzak was none too pleased at giving away the Tigers' home advantage to New Zealand.

Tendulkar misses ton

Mitchell Johnson grabbed three quick wickets to help Australia gain a slender advantage in the opening Test after India's Sachin Tendulkar missed out on his 49th century on Sunday.

Siddikur continues meteoric ascent

Siddikur Rahman was just one shot away from his second Asian Tour conquest but Pariya Junhasavasdikul had his say in the play-off of the Mercuries Taiwan Masters at the demanding Taiwan Golf and Country Club yesterday.

Delhi Diary

Surprisingly the Bangladeshi athletes have been practising all day after checking in at the Games Village of the Commonwealth Games, according to the team officials.

Twenty-four registered by Abahani

Hattrick champions of the Bangladesh League Abahani completed the registration process of their 24-member squad at the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) Bhaban yesterday.

MU continue poor run

Manchester United were left two points behind English Premier League leaders Chelsea after being held to a goalless draw away at Sunderland on Saturday.

Magnificent Mainz

Minnows Mainz equalled the record for most wins at the start of a Bundesliga campaign with their seventh victory as they hammered 10-man Hoffenheim 4-2 on Saturday to maintain their perfect record.

Lyon escape trouble

Fallen French giants Lyon put last week's Rhone Derby defeat behind them and edged out of the relegation zone after prevailing in a five-goal thriller against Nancy on Saturday.

Pirlo rips Parma hearts

AC Milan went top of Serie A for a day at least as Andrea Pirlo scored the only goal of the game to earn a 1-0 victory at Parma on Saturday.

Valencia reach summit

Valencia bounced back from their Champions League loss to Manchester United with a 2-1 home victory over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday to move four points clear at the Spanish first division summit.

I was ready to quit: Melo

Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo has revealed he was on the verge of quitting football after Brazil's World Cup exit.

Sven new Leicester coach

Second tier English Cham-pionship side Leicester on Sunday unveiled Sven-Goran Eriksson as their new coach on a two-year contract.

Ctg Abahani-Police tie to open Fed Cup

Chittagong Abahani will take on Bangladesh Police in the first match of the 23rd Federation Cup at the Shaheed Birshrestha Sepoy Mostafa Kamal Stadium on October 8. A total of fourteen clubs will vie for four second round berths where the top four finishers of last season's Bangladesh League -- Abahani, Mohammedan Sporting Club, Sheikh Russel and Feni Soccer Club -- have an automatic berth.

Rajshahi open title defence today

Defending champions Rajshahi take on Sylhet in one of three opening day matches of the National Cricket League, the country's only first-class tournament, at the Shamsul Huda Stadium in Jessore today.

Aamer could be let off lightly

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has hinted that Mohammad Aamer, one of the three Pakistani players implicated in spot-fixing scandal, may draw the lowest charge and have the option of returning to cricket, if he is found guilty of spot-fixing.

Lanka include Muralidaran

Muttiah Muralidaran, the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, has been included in Sri Lanka's squad to tour Australia later this month in an indication he may play in the 2011 World Cup on the subcontinent.

Moustaches & medals at CWG

Winning athletes won't be the only ones on display at the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. Also present at the medal presentations will be an array of magnificent moustaches.

Guillermo Thai Open champion

Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez was made to battle hard to win the Thailand Open Sunday, beating Jarkko Nieminen 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to follow up his shock semifinal victory over Rafael Nadal.

Khulna lead women's NCL table

Khulna topped the points table in the 4th Women's National Cricket League with a 13-run win over Rajshahi at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium yesterday.

Int'l kabaddi begins Oct 7

Meijan International Club Cup Kabaddi tournament begins on October 7.

Business

Mobil Jamuna to go public

Mobil Jamuna Bangladesh Ltd is set to make the second largest public offering, after Grameenphone, in the country's stockmarket, as the regulator gave a green light to the public-private energy venture yesterday.

Govt to cap interest rates for microcredit soon

Microcredit Regulatory Authority (MRA) will soon frame regulations specifying the interest rates the country's hundreds of micro-finance organisations will be able to charge, its chairman Atiur Rahman said yesterday.

Port-delay eats into exports

Businessmen say they paid more than Tk 250 crore extra to foreign shipping lines in the last four months for port-congestion surcharges, which they call a threat to the competitiveness of the country's major exports.

Bourse leaders urge govt to ensure offloading new shares

A demand came from bourse leaders yesterday that the government take initiatives to ensure availability of new shares in the stockmarket." We urge the government to facilitate supply of new stocks because the market is now over-valued,” said Fakhor Uddin Ali Ahmed, president of Chittagong Stock Exchange, at the inaugural of Fareast Stock and Bonds, a brokerage house, in Dhaka.

Ship breakers demand changes to new policy

Ship breakers have urged the government to reverse a new policy that they say are hurting a growing industry.

Grow more spice: BB

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has renewed its interest in increasing national spice production to reduce annual imports of nearly Tk 2,500 crore.

Port workers demand removal of JS body members

Chittagong port workers yesterday demanded an immediate removal of the members of a parliamentary committee, accusing them of interference in port activities.

Japan-Bangladesh venture plans $25m for RMG

Lyric Garments Ltd, a local export-oriented readymade garment (RMG) company, has signed an agreement with Japanese apparel giant Kojima IRYO Company to set up a composite factory in Bangladesh.

Taiwan to approve China flat-screen plan

Taiwan is expected to approve a flat-screen maker's huge Chinese investment plan this month in another sign of the island easing high-tech controls on its formerly bitter rival, a report said Sunday.

RMG wage meeting fails to reach consensus

The minimum wage board yesterday failed to reach a consensus on whether to increase the pay for four grades in the proposed new salary structure.

Branding: Strive for excellence

The key to building a successful brand is to strive for excellence endlessly, says a teacher of a North American business school.

Bidders circle Carrefour's Asian assets

A bidding war is heating up for Carrefour's supermarkets in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore as the French retail giant plans its exit after failing to take a dominant position in the region.

TV industry show hails smartphone, Facebook era

Internet-based TV viewing, the arrival of Apple's iPad and the proliferation of smartphones are set to ring in a new era of connected entertainment, industry experts predict.

BB governor asks banks to ease farmers' banking

The Bangladesh Bank (BB) governor yesterday called upon state banks to provide facilities, including overdraft (OD) loans, to farmers to help keep their Tk 10 accounts active.

New adviser for Southeast Bank

Former finance secretary Zakir Ahmed Khan joined Southeast Bank as adviser recently, according to a press statement.

HSBC gets new head of global markets

Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Ltd in Bangladesh has recently appointed Bashar M Tareq as global markets director, says a statement.

Microsoft hopes to bury iPhone, Android

Last month, a few hundred Microsoft Corp employees acted out their fantasy with a mock funeral for Apple Inc's iPhone at its Redmond, Washington campus.

China to support ship purchases by Greece

China will help finance the purchase of Chinese ships by Greek shipping companies with the creation of a five-billion-dollar fund, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said Saturday in Athens.

Qatar Telecom may buy Zain's Saudi unit

Qatar Telecom may seek to buy Zain Saudi Arabia 7030.SE, a deal which would clear a regulatory hurdle for Emirates Telecommunications' bid for parent company Zain, Bahrain-based Sico bank said.

Brazil's Petrobras expands capitalisation to $71.6b

Brazil's state-run oil giant Petrobras has expanded its offer of new shares by more than three billion dollars, bringing the total to 71.6 billion dollars -- the largest capitalization in history.

Harbinger to sell 10pc stake in Inmarsat

US hedge fund Harbinger Capital is planning to sell a 10 percent stake in British satellite firm Inmarsat worth close to 300 million pounds ($475 million), the Sunday Times reported.

Corporate Briefs

ICB MUTUAL FUNDS
The mutual funds, on the close of operation on Tuesday, reported net asset value (NAV) for First ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 11,513.10, Second ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 3,844.10, Third ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 2,829.73, Fourth ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 3,234, Fifth ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 2,485.74, Sixth ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 890.14, Seventh ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 1,445.74 and Eighth ICB Mutual Fund of Tk 1,034.41 per unit on current market price against face value of Tk 100 each. On cost price, NAV per unit of the eight funds were Tk 941.12, Tk 647.68, Tk 517.36, Tk 480.73, Tk 332.90, Tk 197.55, Tk 247.34 and Tk 221.53 respectively against face value of Tk 100 each.

Metropolitan

Digitalised map by 2016

The government is going to set up six permanent Global Positioning System (GPS) stations in six districts by May next year, said officials of Survey of Bangladesh (SOB), the national surveying and mapping agency, at a seminar yesterday.

Five murdered in city, Savar

Five young men were killed in separate incidents in the city's different parts and Savar yesterday.

Dhaka urges donors to distribute aid rationally

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni on Saturday called for rationalisation of distribution of aid that many donors allocate based on political, economic and strategic interests.

Rajuk leases out Waqf land at Baridhara

Rajdhani Unnyan Kartripakhha (Rajuk) unjustly leased out a big plot to an association by taking the Waqf land of Naimuddin Madrasa at Baridhara in the city, claimed the secretary of madrasa at a press conference yesterday.

35 BNP notices for JS discussion rejected

As many as 35 notices submitted by BNP lawmakers for holding discussions in parliament on various national issues were rejected yesterday.

War crimes trial to remove stigma of failure to punish HR violators

With a fervent call for speedy trial of war criminals, liberation war veteran Ferdousi Priyabhasini said millions of women and martyrs' families, who faced brutal torture during the 1971 war, would have peace in their hearts if the perpetrators of the crimes against humanity were punished.

Huge contraband alcohol, drugs destroyed in Ctg

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) here yesterday destroyed a huge quantity of contraband liquor, phensidyl, yaba tablets and compact discs (CDs) containing pornographic material, seized in separate drives over the last six months.

WB to help make new national ID cards

The World Bank is willing to assist in making new national ID card for the people apart from the existing voter ID card.

Two muggers arrested with arms in Savar

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two alleged muggers along with a foreign revolver from Dhaka-Aricha highway at Niribili road early yesterday.

Online registration of US DV lottery starts tomorrow

The online registration of US Diversity Visa (DV) 2012 lottery starts at 10:00pm tomorrow and will continue until November 3.

Security measures taken for Durga Puja

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday said all security preparations are in place to ensure peaceful observation of Durga Puja, the biggest religious festival of the Hindu Community.

3 killed in road crash

At least three people were killed and another was injured when a truck hit a rickshaw on Dhaka-Sylhet highway in Belabo upazila of Narsingdi yesterday.

Safayet gets bail in acid throwing case

A Dhaka court yesterday granted bail to Safayet Ahmed Chowdhury, son of a High Court Judge Salma Masud Chowdhury, in connection with an acid throwing case.

CJ unhappy over absence of some dist judges at offices

Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque yesterday expressed annoyance over absence of some district judges at their offices during the office time.

National

Survey of Barak, Surma, Kushiyara to start this yr

India-Bangladesh Joint River Commission (JRC) will start survey of trans-border Barak, Surma and Kushiyara rivers in the Sylhet-Assam region during the dry season this year.

Indefinite transport strike in 16 N dists from today

Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation will for an indefinite strike in 16 northern districts from today to realise its 10-point demand.

Khulna Baro Bazar traders begin indefinite strike

Amid serious dispute with workers over wages, businessmen of Khulna Baro Bazar yesterday started an indefinite strike, closing down their shops on West Mekot Road, Station Road, Bhairab Strand Road, Sir Iqbal Road, Clay Road, Kalibari Road and Lower Jessore Road under Khulna Sadar thana.

10 cows die of 'black quarter' in Pabna in two days

At least six cows died of black quarter, a bacterial disease, in last two days in Char Bhobanipur and Char Joinpur villages in Pabna Sadar upazila, livestock department claimed.

Reinvestigate AL leader Shahbaz murder case

Awami League (AL) activists formed a human chain on Rajshahi deputy commissioner's (DC) office premises yesterday noon demanding reinvestigation into Putia AL leader Shahbaz murder case.

Village with 12,000 people pitiably backward

About 12,000 people in remote Ghiba village in Sharsha upazila are living a sub-human life because of awful condition of the mud road that connects the village with Benapole land port.

Clash over control of market in Jhenidah:

Ten people, including a police sub-inspector and an Ansar commander, were injured in a clash between two groups of villagers at Goalpara Bazar under Jhenidah Sadar upazila yesterday.

Outlaw killed by party rivals in Khulna

Police recovered the body of an outlawed party leader from the bank of a water body in Dumuria upazila here on Saturday.

Youth stabbed to death in Mymensingh

A youth was stabbed to death by unidentified criminals in Trishal bus stand area in the town on Saturday night.

Six arrested Kushtia BCL men sent to jail

Six activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Kushtia district and Kushtia Government College units were sent to jail yesterday.

Jewellery shop looted in Rajbari

Robbers looted 40 tolas of gold, cash and other valuables from a jewellery shop owned by Sanath Das at Kazi market in Pangsha upazila town on Friday night.

Letters

Vehicles on footpaths

Hundreds of thousands of people of Dhaka city every day use the footpaths to travel from one place to another. These walkways are not really commuter-friendly, many of them having cracks and others having litters of all sorts lying here and there. Still a good number of people use them either to save time or money or both as travelling by other means ensures getting stuck in traffic jams. But it seems that people now have to find an alternative to walking on footpaths, because a new trend is on the rise- parking and driving vehicles on footpaths. Now-a-days people are often seen riding their motorbikes or bicycles on footpaths causing immense discomfort to commuters. If the roads are congested, these bikers simply drive onto footpaths. Astonishingly, some policemen are appreciating this outrageous act by performing it themselves. It is extremely dangerous to drive a vehicle on footpaths. The driver can easily injure himself or others. Besides driving, some people also use footpaths as parking places. Parking cars or bikes on footpaths compels people to get down from the footpath, which can lead to accidents. All these can be avoided if everyone respects traffic laws and tries to abide by them. And if someone does not, the law enforcers should be on hand to take action. Vehicles are meant for the roads, not for footpaths.

Trapped miners

With the arrival of the specially designed equipment, hopefully the 33 trapped Chilean miners shall soon be rescued. It is heartening to know that after an ordeal of couple of months, the trapped miners shall finally be rescued, as reported by Al Jazeera Television. It would require almost a day to rescue all the trapped miners, said the report. May Almighty Allah save their lives!

Physical punishment in schools

Corporal punishment is still being practiced in the classrooms, as Sir Frank Peters predicted. I have received many phone calls from the upset parents who were telling me that there has been no change in the teachers' attitude and they continue to beat the students, as if they are above the law. After all, they are the 'highly-respected' teachers -the supreme power in a classroom.

Build flyovers

Traffic jam in Dhaka city is getting intolerable day by day. The government is planning for building monorails, circuit rails or metro rails which are in fact quite ambitious and time consuming ventures. If the govt. builds some flyovers in some key points of Dhaka instead, traffic jam will be reduced obviously.

United Airways (BD) Ltd

Recently I had the opportunity to travel by United Airways (BD) Ltd. from Dhaka to Kathmandu. It is encouraging to learn from their brochure that the United Airways has made remarkable progress as a private airliner after its inception in 2007 with only one Dash 8-100 aircraft. Now the airlines have a number of jet aircrafts with its routes to several domestic and international destinations. It has been stated that the United Airways has plan to increase both of their fleets and flights in the near future.

Innovation and creativity

Is promoting maths and science education the best way to stimulate future innovation? This was a question asked at an international debate moderated by a respectable weekly. Well, the answer can be both 'yes' and 'no.' Of course, maths and science play an important role. But I believe that true innovation comes from a solid education, which includes liberal arts as well as economics, business and various disciplinary fields with different worldviews. Improved education in all fields might have a more successful result. Learning to develop thinking does not necessarily come from highly structured classes of maths and science. Many innovators in history were philosophers. There are many examples of innovations by the men who did not have maths and science education. Aristotle's views about science were remarkable though he was not educated in science. Gottfried Leibniz was educated in philosophy, but he had contributed a lot to maths and science. Einstein did not start out in math. He said that imagination is everything. These are just a few examples of where innovation and creativity comes from.

MP's gun and media

Ibrahim died in a dubious situation. The case got disproportionate media attention as the alleged murder took place in the jeep of a ruling party MP. The gun used in the killing belongs to the same MP. Police after unusual reluctance lodged a murder case and promptly arrested two persons who immediately made confessional statements implicating themselves. The case appears to be solved and ready to be tried in the court. But media and general public appear not fully convinced. They want to know whether the police version is oversimplified or something is being concealed. The state minister for law who is also a lawyer at one stage indicated that the MP may be charged for unauthorized use of his licensed gun. It also appears that at initial stage some attempts were taken to hide the facts and even destroy evidences. The victim was taken to a private clinic in old Dhaka area, the blood stained seat of jeep was washed, dead body was left at DMCH emergency as unidentified and at last an unnatural death case was started by the killer driver himself. These irregularities need careful examination. Investigators should not jump to conclusions quickly. Provisions of arms act and regulation should also be analysed. In certain situation absolute custody of licensed arm is necessary.

False cases

Filing false cases is another sign of our social decay. This is an effective tool for a wealthy and powerful person to harass another person by using law. It is observed that the law enforcers' responses to the false cases are prompter than that of the genuine cases. May be one day the falsely accused persons would be proven and declared innocent by the court, but in the meantime his family would be destroyed. However, I believe that at least the law enforcing agencies, through their sincere and honest investigation, can reduce the number of false cases.

Sorry state of CTV

As many TV channels are being operated in Bangladesh, we are getting many high standard programmes on different channels. The competition is so tough that if the viewers find any distasteful programme on any channel, they can change the channel at once. Therefore, every channel authorities are careful about the standard of their programmes. But CTV (Chittagong Television) is different from other channels where some unskilled persons are making low standard programmes. The inhabitants of Chittagong who do not have satellite connections are bound to watch it. I think it is a complete waste of money and time. The government can utilise that money in other development works. I think either skilled people should operate CTV or government should ban this channel.

PM raises war crime issue

Our prime minister deserves kudos for raising the war crime issue in the United Nations. She was also vocal in enumerating atrocities by her rival parties to her family and party members quite forgetting what her party men are doing now to the opposition all over the county. We are very pleased that she uttered the word 'justice' in her speech. I hope she will do justice to her utterance of justice by administering justice where breaking the laws by the ruling party has become the norm.

Helping the Palestinians!

From the news telecast by CNN on September 27, 2010, I learned that a Jewish boat is heading towards Gaza carrying aids, despite the Israeli blockade, there are ten people on board including Jews and other nationals. A passenger of the boat Yanatan Shapiral said that all Jewish people do not support their government's actions against the Palestinians, they think it most unjust and they want the world to know it. He also said that let the Israeli authorities handcuff them and the whole world will see the event.

Bring them to justice

We were stuck with awe and astonishment to read in the news that a group of pro-Awami League doctors from Swadhinata Chikitshak Parishad (SCP) and Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) allegedly assaulted Professor Dr. Pran Gopal Dutt, the Vice Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), after not being selected for the posts of medical officer. Moreover, these outsiders had a meeting with the leaders of SCP and BMA at the academic council room of BSMMU violating the rules of the university. It has become a norm of the ruling party men to swoop on responsible people who do not cater to their petty and unjust interests. Even an imminent medical professional like Professor Dr. Pran Gopal Dutt has not been spared. We deeply resent the attack on this prominent personality of the country and demand that those responsible for the heinous act be brought to justice.

Age limit

At present, a person in the country can apply for a job in public services till 30 years of his or her age. However, for the offspring of freedom fighters the age limit is 32 years. Those who did not register their real age in SSC or Dakhil level are thought to be conscious, even lucky ones. Because, they will get more chances to apply for jobs than those who did not reduce their age during the registration. It seems that the truthful failed and the untruthful won the race!

Miscreants on loose!

Over the last few days many local dailies reported the litany of violence and killings all over Bangladesh. It seems that even the police are beating up and sadistically killing people! One wonders if "Law & Order" has forsaken Bangladesh in General and Dhaka in particular?

RTI Act

It refers to the published editorial in The Daily Star on September 28,2010 entitled "Right to Know Day, Reap the benefits of RTI." The Right To Information (RTI) Act is no doubt a progressive instrument of democracy empowering citizens to obtain information. At the same time, the government cannot be faulted for proposing to exempt file notings from the Act's purview. As rightly pointed out by the media experts, the disclosure of file notings will harm the process of decision making as officials will refrain from rendering objective advice. The best course would be to have a full-fledged debate on the issue before introducing the amendment. The government's withdrawal of the move to dilute the RTI Act is doubtless a significant victory for the people of Bangladesh. Who would want to dilute the Act except those who have something to hide? RTI activists should not become complacent though. Like a dormant virus, the amendments can reappear with virulence. In order to exercise the freedom of speech and expression effectively, we need an informed public opinion. The right to knowledge includes the right to information. The right to information thus flows out of freedom of speech and expression.

RMCH scene

Rangpur Medical College and Hospital has lost its past glory. On 26th July 2010 I went to RMCH to see my ailing brother. I found him lying in a dirty bed of a general ward along with other patients. I had been there for quite some time but no doctor or nurse visited the ward to enquire about the patients.

International

US, UK issue travel alert for Europe

The US State Department issued a formal alert Sunday warning Americans travelling in Europe to remain vigilant against "the potential for terrorist attacks" and urging precaution in public places and transportation systems.

Pakistan joins Nato probe into border attack

Pakistan has sent a team to Afghanistan to probe a cross-border Nato attack that allegedly killed three Pakistani soldiers, forcing a key border crossing to close, officials said yesterday.

Afghanistan starts closing private security firms

Afghanistan has begun disbanding private security companies operating in the country, shutting down eight firms and seizing over 400 weapons, the Interior Ministry said yesterday.

Bin Laden softens tone, but to what end?

Softening his tone, al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden issued a humanitarian appeal on Saturday urging Muslim governments to do more to help Pakistan's flood victims and expressing worry about climate change. It was his second purported audiotape in as many days.

Pak blockade disrupts Nato supplies for fourth day

Pakistan's blockade of a key land route to Afghanistan disrupted crucial Nato fuel supplies for a fourth consecutive day yesterday, leaving scores of trucks and tankers stranded at the frontier.

No talks until Israel halts settlements: PLO

Direct talks with Israel will not resume unless it halts the building of Jewish settlements on occupied land, the Palestinian leadership said on Saturday.

Bosnians vote amid pessimism, division

Bosnians voted yesterday in an election that may decide whether their divided country moves closer toward the European Union and Nato in the next four years or sinks deeper into stagnation.

Guatemala sex study revives painful memories in US

The scandal over Guatemalans infected with sex diseases in the 1940s so that US researchers could test remedies has revived painful memories of a similar episode involving African-Americans in the 20th century.

Germany marks 20 years of unity

Germany yesterday celebrated the 20th anniversary of its reunification when the capitalist West and communist East merged after decades of Cold War division that ended with the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Nato's combat item stolen, sold to Pak insurgents

Combat materials, including sophisticated communication devices and heavy-duty generators, meant for Nato troops are stolen by transporters and sold to militants in Pakistan, a media report said yesterday.

Three police colonels face investigation

Three police colonels were under criminal investigation Saturday for failing to prevent a massive protest by their subordinates against President Rafael Correa that spun out of control, claiming at least five lives.

Mideast to expel US from the region

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday that Middle East nations will expel the United States from the region with a "kick in the butt," as he launched a vitriolic tirade against Iran's arch-foes.

Iraqi Kurds hold political cards for al-Maliki

Kurdish lawmakers began Saturday to plot their course as Iraq's kingmakers with enough seats to secure a second term for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and press key demands, including a greater say over the oil riches in the country's north.

Musharraf calls Nawaz Sharif 'brainless'

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, who in 1999 overthrew the government of Nawaz Sharif, believes the two-time premier lacks intellect and is "totally brainless".

BJP, Congress claim victory ahead of result

Chhattisgarh's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the opposition Congress yesterday claimed victory in a crucial assembly by-poll, a day before the results are announced.

Gene flaw causes small brain

Microcephaly, a disorder which leads to an abnormally small brain, has been traced in part to a flaw in a gene called WDR62 that plays a key role in the development of neurons, according to studies published yesterday by the journal Nature Genetics.

UK pays 1.5m dollars in compensation to Afghans

Britain has paid 1.5 million dollars to Afghans this year in compensation for deaths, injuries and damaged property, official figures showed yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Swani Zubayeer on music and melodies

Our music industry requires singers who have calibre and versatility along with a beautiful and melodious voice capable of mesmerising listeners. Swani Zubayeer falls into this category with ease and has emerged as a well-known name in his chosen sphere. He is one of those few singers, who are unafraid to take risks and experiment with different styles and genres.

Poet Sukanta Bhattacharya’s birth anniversary observed

Bangladesh Lekhak Shibir, Pabna district unit committee, recently observed the 84th birth anniversary of poet Sukanta Bhattacharya. A discussion was held on the occasion in Pabna Town Hall premise last Saturday night. The discussion was chaired by Rejaul Haque Shajahan, president of the organisation.

Evocative lines and tones

Ayesha Siddiqui is a Pakistani painter and her works delve deep into various delightful forms and compositions. The strengths of her works are various evocative lines and tones. Some of her works seem to have a neat characteristic, while others appear rigid.

Earthenware a great attraction

In the run up to Durga Puja, Nabin Chandra Pal's business of making earthenware and decorative pieces is at its best. As neighbours and whole-sellers throng his house to buy his carefully crafted creations, even his wife Jamuna Rani is roped in to lend him a helping hand.

Workshop on Tagore songs

A two-day workshop on Tagore songs was held at the training room of cultural organisation Prochchhad in Kurigram.

A festive day for girl students

The students of Khagrachhari Government Girl's High School (KGGHS) spent a festive day, complete with song, dance, a skit and other cultural events. They celebrated the victory of their school's handball team, which had emerged as the district level champion.

New talent hunt for garment workers

BGMEA and Gaanchil are to jointly organise a musical competition “Gao Pran Khuley Gao”. The talent hunt for garments workers will be aired on Banglavision.

OP-ED

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.

The perils of 'Aadhaar'

An elaborate charade has begun with the rolling out of the first Aadhaar unique identity (UID) numbers by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi in a tribal district of Maharashtra. The 12-digit number for each citizen is supposed to achieve pilferage-free delivery of services to the underprivileged.



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