The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, October 26, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 6th of October, 2010

Front Page

Ganges barrage work from 2012

The government plans to begin construction of the long-awaited Ganges Barrage in Rajbari district in December 2012 to preserve the river water during monsoon and release it during lean period.

Govt now tries to save jetties

The government has filed a petition with the High Court to protect the jetties set up for commercial purposes on the four rivers around the capital.

Tigers triumph

Daniel Vettori's pre-series prediction came true as Shakib Al Hasan almost single handedly guided Bangladesh to a nine-run victory in the rain-interrupted first one-day international of the five-match series at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Cop killing case finally dropped

A Chittagong court on Monday granted a government petition for withdrawal of a murder case against Chhatra League leaders.

Govt to set up Rabindra University

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said a Rabindra University and a Rabindra Academy will be established in Bangladesh for higher studies and research on poet Rabindranath Tagore.

War trial after 4 decades a conspiracy to create chaos

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday said a conspiracy is on to throw the nation into chaos in the name of war crimes trial four decades after the general amnesty to the collaborators.

27 AL men granted bail in one case

A Pabna court granted bail yesterday to 27 Awami League (AL), Jubo League and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists accused with the attack on government officials during the recruitment test for the deputy commissioner's office in Pabna on September 17.

Asif, Baki win bronze in shooting

From gold medallist in 2002 to forgotten man in 2010, Asif Hossain Khan's journey from Bangladeshi golden boy to relative obscurity has been remarkable indeed. And ahead of the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, Asif had been constantly derided in many quarters for being unfocused and erratic. The general consensus was that his sun had well and truly set.

EC Sohul challenges HC order

Election Commissioner Muhammed Sohul Hussain yesterday filed a petition with the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the High Court order that directed him to appear before it on October 7 in connection with a contempt of court petition.

Gas venture along border approved

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved a project for digging gas wells to bring down the gap with India in terms of extracting gas near Salda borders.

170 duty-dodging doctors identified

At least 170 doctors of the country's different public hospitals will face departmental action for being absent from workplaces without prior approval of the authority.

Officer tells of torture in confinement

An army officer, also a witness of a BDR mutiny case, yesterday narrated before a special court at Pilkhana how 20 BDR jawans tortured him and confined him along with his family members.

Nizami showed indifference

Matiur Rahman Nizami, the then industries minister, showed indifference to the seizure of 10-truckload of arms and ammunition on April 2, 2004.

6-month jail for offenders

Parliament yesterday passed a bill making strong provisions to protect women and children from family violence and repression.

Rajuk, Wasa demolish risky, illegal buildings

An eviction team of Rajdhani Unnayan Kartipakkha (Rajuk) yesterday demolished the illegal portion of a six-storey structure at capital's Madhya Kunipara in Tejgaon industrial area.

Two more suspected militants held in city

Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel yesterday arrested two alleged operatives of Pakistan-based militant outfits Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Hizbul Mujahideen from the Airport Railway Station area in the capital.

Modasser hits out at Prothom Alo

After the lawmakers came down heavily on the press on September 21, Prof Syed Modasser Ali, prime minister's health and social welfare adviser, yesterday reiterated his discontent over the role of a Bangla daily and its editor.

Russian-born scientists win Nobel in physics

Two Russian-born scientists shared the Nobel Prize in physics yesterday for "groundbreaking experiments" with the thinnest, strongest material known to mankind -- a carbon vital for the creation of faster computers and transparent touch screens.

Syrian girl 'accused of spying'

Syria has accused a teenaged girl, held without charge for nine months, of spying, officials say.

Editorial

This worsening crisis of electricity

the increasing frequency with which power cuts have been happening over the last few days is extremely worrying. Worse is the feeling that the authorities are either unwilling or unable to explain why the situation has come to such a pass where even a month ago it was felt that the supply of electricity had rather improved. That feeling came from the declining power outages, making citizens believe that the crisis could well be on the way to a solution. But those assumptions have now been belied. With power cuts occurring no fewer than eight times a day, it is reasonable to ask the authorities how they plan to tackle the situation. It does not matter that the government keeps telling us the power situation has improved when the realities on the ground show the exact reverse. With the power cuts comes an inevitable effect on water supply. Households are now faced with the prospect of not just inadequate electricity but the all too obvious possibility of insufficient water.

Recruitment to the lower echelons of health sector

On the back of the furore over the health adviser's ill-conceived announcement of inducting party loyalists in the community clinics, it is a breath of fresh air: the health directorate has stopped recruitment of classes-III and IV employees in 21 districts. This comes in response to public reaction against anomalies in recruitment procedures. Detractors could say that the health directorate has caved in to public criticism; but would the government have stopped the process had it not been itself convinced of the opacity? Thus in our eyes' it is a self-corrective move worthy of appreciation. But in any case the government should at all events uphold the principles of fair-play, justice and job-specific eligibilities.

Sports

Few words, big impact

Going by Shakib Al Hasan's personality, here is a straightforward account of his contribution to Bangladesh's 9-run win.

Win soothes Mash's pain

The moment was so sweet that it allowed Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza to even forget his pain and, with the aid of a crutch, make himself present in the post-match briefing with an infectious smile.

Vettori let down by untimely wickets

The usually phlegmatic Daniel Vettori was disappointed with New Zealand's 9-run loss to Bangladesh in the first one-day at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Magical Laxman

Venkatsai Laxman defied a back injury to make an unbeaten 73 as India snatched a remarkable one-wicket victory from the jaws of defeat in the opening Test against Australia on Tuesday.

Delhi Diary

Bangladesh's hopes of upsetting the archery world evaporated with the elimination of promising Emdadul Haque Milon and Sajib Sheikh from the pre-quarterfinals of individual recurve bow event in the XIX Commonwealth Games at the Yamuna Sports Complex in New Delhi yesterday.

Empty seats, but no tickets!

Fans who braved the thick traffic to reach Mirpur were left bitterly frustrated when they were turned away at the gates of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Gambhir, Ishant out of 2nd Test

India have omitted Gautam Gambhir and Ishant Sharma from the second Test in Bangalore following injuries to their right knees. The squad for that Test, announced hours after the win against Australia in Mohali, includes Tamil Nadu opener Abhinav Mukund and Saurashtra quick bowler Jaidev Unadkat, both of whom are uncapped, as replacements.

Dhaka drive home advantage

Dhaka bowlers drove home the advantage set up by their batsman to stifle Khulna at the end of day two in their opening 4-day match of the 12th National Cricket League at the Shaheed Kamruzzaman Stadium in Rajshahi yesterday.

No Ponting in ODIs

Australia have rested the senior trio of Ricky Ponting, Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson for the one-dayers against India later this month. In Ponting's absence, Michael Clarke will lead a side that includes South Australia batsman Callum Ferguson, who has made a comeback after a year on the sidelines due to a knee injury.

Hosts, Australia shine

Commonwealth Games organisers defended the Delhi showpiece and insisted Tuesday that empty stadiums would fill up as Australia and India took a stranglehold on the medals table.

U-14 tennis starts today

Anlene ATF Under-14 Series Tennis Tournament starts at the Nayional Tennis Complex in Ramna today. The four-day tournament will feature sixteen boys and sixteen girls from five countries including hosts Bangladesh.

Khulna take on Rajshahi in final

Khulna booked a final showdown against Rajshahi in the final of the Women's National Cricket Twenty20 League at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium today after they thrashed Barisal to a 100-run defeat at the same venue today.

Opposition leader fouls Morales

Bolivian President Evo Morales was nursing an injured leg Monday after being hit hard by an opposition leader in a friendly football game over the weekend, the government announced.

Blanc rues Ben Arfa injury

France co-ach Laurent Blanc called Lyon right-back An-thony Reve-illere into his squad on Monday for the Euro 2012 qualifiers against Romania, on Saturday in Paris, and Luxembourg, on October 12 in Metz.

Bommel backs De Jong

Netherlands captain Mark van Bommel has backed team-mate Nigel De Jong, claiming that he should not alter his game after he was dropped from the squad.

FIFA grounds Super Eagles

Nigeria's Super Eagles were grounded on Monday when the country was barred from international soccer because of government interference, three months after narrowly escaping suspension for the same reason.

Loew blames it on WC

Germany coach Joachim Loew said Tuesday football's top stars have not had enough time to recover from the World Cup and pointed to Bastian Schweinsteiger's ankle injury as an example of the problem.

Tevez, Mancini fight

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini and captain Carlos Tevez were involved in a heated bust-up at half time in their side's 2-1 win over Newcastle on Sunday, according to widespread reports in the English press.

Coca-Cola drops Rooney

England and Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has been dropped by his sponsor Coca-Cola from an advertising campaign following media allegations about his private life.

Torres out for Spain

Liverpool's Fernando Torres is out of the Spain squad to face Lithuania and Scotland in next week's Euro 2012 qualifiers and could also miss a crucial Merseyside derby after picking up an adductor strain in Sunday's loss to Blackpool, his club said Monday.

Duff misses Russia tie

Republic of Ireland midfielder Damien Duff was ruled out

Forlan keen on EPL return

Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan star Diego Forlan, voted the best player at the World Cup, said he is ready to return to the English Premiership if the right offer comes along.

Italy draft in Floccari

Lazio striker Sergio Floccari was called up to the Italy squad for the first time on Monday as a replacement for the injured Alberto Gilardino.

Business

Banglalink owner gets new partner

Norwegian-Russian telecoms firm Vimpelcom will acquire a majority stake in Banglalink's owning company Orascom Telecom, in a deal that will create the world's fifth largest mobile operator.

Regulator budges on Z-category firms

The Securities and Exchange Commission has backtracked on a decision on Z-category companies.

Hasina speeds up ADP spend

Annual Development Programme (ADP) spending rose 76 percent in the first two months of the fiscal year over last year, reportedly due to continual pushing by the PM.

AIMS offers get HC nod

The High Court (HC) yesterday declared illegal the Securities and Exchange Commission's rejection of AIMS 1st Mutual Fund's rights offer and bonus dividend announcement.

Singapore Air to offer inflight wireless internet

Singapore Airlines said Tuesday it would be able to offer passengers inflight wireless internet access at 35,000 feet (10,600 metres) by next year.

Wall Street keen on making investment in Bangladesh

A high-level delegation of the financial executives of Wall Street called on Finance Minister AMA Muhith at Bangladesh's Permanent Mission in New York on Monday.

BMW arm launches India operations

BMW's financing arm launched operations in India on Tuesday, offering loans for purchases of cars produced by the luxury German vehicle maker.

Mixed reactions over industrial police

The introduction of industrial police has evoked mixed reaction among businesspeople.

Bangladesh next shipbuilding hub

Bangladesh has the potential of becoming a shipbuilding hub as foreign investors are coming with investments in the sector, said the chief of a Dutch delegation yesterday.

WB seeks action to quell economic tensions

World Bank President Robert Zoellick on Monday called for policy actions to quell growing tensions over currencies and to shore up confidence in the sputtering global economic recovery.

Three-day agricultural fair starts

A three-day international agricultural fair called 'Banglalink Agro Bangladesh 2010' began in the city yesterday with a call for helping the local agro-based industry flourish.

Minister stresses paperless trade

Commerce Minister Faruk Khan yesterday called upon developed nations to help their developing peers build their capacity to achieve paperless trade.

Show off, excite

Bangladesh needs to create an image that is cool and exciting to the rest of the world, to accelerate its economy, says a leading business journalist.

Asia frets over hot money inflows

Policymakers of emerging Asian economies on Teusday voiced concerns over hot money that is pushing up their currencies, with India and Thailand saying they were looking at steps to control the flow of funds.

Japan adopts zero interest rate policy

The Bank of Japan on Tuesday surprised markets by adopting a near zero rate policy and announced further easing measures to help safeguard a fragile recovery from the threats of deflation and a strong yen.

Unilever brings water purifier

Unilever has introduced in Bangladesh its water purifier Pureit recently, said a statement.

Japanese shares soar in Asia

Japanese shares soared and the yen tumbled Tuesday after the central bank announced a surprise zero percent interest rate policy but regional markets were mixed following a weak lead from Wall Street.

Indian companies to raise record funds

With Indian shares near historic peaks, firms look set to raise a record amount of funds in 2010 through initial public offerings (IPOs) and other stock issues, a leading brokerage forecast Tuesday.

Apple faces $625m fines over patents

Apple has decided to challenge a legal decision that could see it pay up to 625.5 million dollars in fines for infringing several patents, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

Asian growth boosts Tesco profits

Britain's biggest retailer, the supermarket chain Tesco, said on Tuesday that net profits jumped to 1.18 billion pounds in the first half on the back of strong sales growth in Asia.

Google has content deals with media/internet firms

Google Inc has signed new content partnership deals with media and internet companies, including NBC Universal's CNBC, Time Warner's HBO and Amazon, for its proposed Google TV service.

Samsung to launch smartphone in Japan soon

South Korea's Samsung Electronics said Tuesday it would release a smartphone and tablet PC in Japan before December, its latest move in an ongoing battle with US giant Apple.

Oil mixed

Oil prices were mixed in Asian trade Tuesday as a strengthening dollar and a slump on Wall Street weighed on sentiment, analysts said.

Metropolitan

Submit report on militants' bank transaction

The Committee for Resistance and Correction Militancy yesterday requested the finance ministry to submit a report to its next meeting on whether the militants are using network of any local bank.

'Apply latest technology to increase rice production'

Scientists have suggested Bangladesh must pay particular attention to the untapped potentials and latest technologies to increase rice production, as the country faces challenges for rapid population growth, decline of land and regular natural disasters.

Five killed, 49 injured in road crashes

Five people were killed and 49 others injured in two road accidents in Barisal and Sylhet districts yesterday.

Early marriage root cause of violence against women

Early marriage is the root cause of many forms of suffering and discrimination against women in Bangladesh, said speakers at a discussion yesterday.

HC starts hearing

The High Court (HC) yesterday started hearing on the eight-year long pending two writ petitions filed by journalist-writer Shahriar Kabir and Professor Muntasir Mamun challenging their arrest detention and remand during the BNP led four-party alliance government.

Discussion on edu policy deferred to next session

A general discussion on the National Education Policy 2010 was deferred to next session of parliament as lawmakers did not agree to participate in it in 'short notice'.

SC permits JTV to file appeal against HC verdict

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday gave permission to the Jamuna Television (JTV) authorities to file an appeal with SC challenging the High Court (HC) verdict that upheld the government decision to cancel frequency allocation to JTV and to stop its test transmission.

New city corporations to be set up

Rules are being formulated under the Local Government (City Corporation) Act 2009 to establish new City Corporation, LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Syed Ashraful Islam told the House yesterday.

Int'l Mother Language Day Monument built in Italy

A permanent International Mother Language Day monument has been built in Bari city of Italy.

Free Lalbagh Kella from encroachers

Environmental activists yesterday demanded immediate steps to free Lalbagh Kella, a historic fort in Old Dhaka, from the grips of encroachers.

President asks EC to maintain neutrality

President Zillur Rahman yesterday called upon the Election Commission (EC) to maintain utmost transparency and neutrality in holding national and other local body elections in the country.

HC extends Koko's parole

The High Court (HC) yesterday extended its earlier order that stayed the government decision cancelling the parole of Arafat Rahman Koko, younger son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Reshuffle in judiciary

The government yesterday brought changes to the judiciary as per advice of the Supreme Court, said a press release.

Include indigenous people's rights in constitution

The International Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) Commission recommends explicit recognition of the distinctive identity, culture and rights of the indigenous people in the constitution.

Bangladesh a secular democratic country

A high official of the US State Department said Bangladesh is now a secular democracy of increasing regional stature and strategic importance to the United States.

Shackling Montu in jail violates constitution

Keeping Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court and freedom fighter Montu Gosh in shackles inside the jail is a violation of the constitution, says a statement yesterday signed by 51 distinguished people.

US delivers 92,380 tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh

The US government has delivered 92,380 tonnes of wheat to Bangladesh through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under its 'Title-2' food aid programme.

Muggers shoot businessman, snatch Tk 32 lakh

A gang of three muggers shot a businessman at Dainik Bangla intersection in the city and robbed him of Tk 32 lakh yesterday afternoon.

Man killed for protesting stalkers

Unidentified criminals on Monday night stabbed to death a man who protested stalking of his wife at Dattapara in Tongi.

Registration of 585 NGOs cancelled this year

Different organisations donated Tk 19.1 crore to the Prime Minister's Relief Fund to help the victims of the Nimtoli inferno and Begunbari building collapse incidents.

Woman killed allegedly by husband

A woman died after her husband allegedly poured scalding hot water on her at Tajmahal Road in the city on Monday.

Woman killed allegedly by husband

A woman died after her husband allegedly poured scalding hot water on her at Tajmahal Road in the city on Monday.

Discussion on education policy in next session

A general discussion on the National Education Policy 2010 was deferred to next session of parliament as lawmakers did not agree to participate in it in 'short notice'.

National

Rangamati townspeople deprived of civic amenities

Rangamati Municipality with 64.75 square kilometre area and about two lakh inhabitants is plagued with multifarious problems for long.

Teachers oppose 'illegal' move to appoint headmaster

Teachers of Khagrachhari Municipal Model High School have demanded cancellation of the school authorities' 'illegal' initiative to appoint a headmaster who does not have required qualifications.

250 houses, 50 shops damaged as storm hits Gaibandha, B'baria

At least 250 dwelling houses and 50 shops were damaged and ten people injured as storms lashed two upazilas of Gaibandha and Brahmanbaria district yesterday.

Gamblers attack cops in Rajshahi, 2 injured

Armed gamblers beat up two plainclothes policemen near a police camp set up at the district collectorate field here on Monday night.

Power-hungry people block highway

Local people barricaded Dhaka-Mawa highway in front of Mawa Super Market under Louhajang upazila of the district for an hour yesterday demanding uninterrupted power supply in the area.

Clash at wedding party, one killed

One person was stabbed to death during a clash between two groups of people at a wedding party here on Monday night.

BCL-Moitree clash leaves 10 injured

Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) and Chhatra Moitree clashed at Rajshahi New Degree Government College yesterday, leaving 10 people from both sides injured.

20 hurt as rival AL men clash in Rajshahi

At least 20 people were injured as two rival groups of Awami League (AL) clashed at Bagha upazila headquarters yesterday over the leadership of the upazila unit of the ruling party and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

29 shops gutted in three districts

At least 29 shops were gutted and seven people injured in separate incidents of fire in Chandpur, Narsingdi and Sylhet districts yesterday and the day before.

BCL factions clash at CU

Two activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) Chittagong University (CU) unit were injured in a factional clash on the campus yesterday.

Schoolboy drowns

Body of schoolboy who went missing on Monday afternoon was recovered from a river here yesterday morning, police said. Victim Shafiuddin Rabin, 14, was son of SM Shahabuddin of Ghashipara in the town. He was also a student of class VIII of Dinajpur High School, family sources said. Rabin along with his friends went to the Punarbhaba for fishing on Monday afternoon, family members said. But he went missing as he suddenly fell into the river. Later, rescuers of Bangladesh Fire Brigade recovered the body yesterday from a spot, 1km off the original place where he was fishing on Monday.

Housewife murdered

A housewife was killed allegedly by her husband at Mogolgao village in Sadar upazila on Saturday night. The victim, Anwara Begum, 35, was wife of Lala Miah of the village. Police said, Lala Miah killed his wife and hanged the body with the roof of his room sometime at night. He fled away soon after the murder.On information, police recovered the body and sent it to the Osmani Medical College and Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Rapist gets life

A court here on Sunday sentenced a man to life imprisonment for raping a woman in 2006. The court fined the convict, Amzad Hossain, Tk 10,000, in default, he to suffer another six months in jail. According to prosecution, Amzad took the victim, also wife of his nephew, to Pronnathpur village in Pirganj upazila where he raped her on August 28, 2006. Victim's brother Abdul Hakim filed a case with Pirganj police station. The Woman and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal special judge Mahamudul Kabir pronounced the verdict after examining the records and witnesses.

One electrocuted

A man was electrocuted at Dakkhin para in Raninagar upazila here on Monday. The deceased was identified as Pulok Pramanik, 34. Witnesses said a religious festival was going on at Chakradhar Howlader's house at the village in the morning. At one stage, Pulok came in touch with a live electric wire while repairing an electric wire of the stage at around 10:00 am. He was rushed to the upazila health complex where attending doctors declared him dead.

Nasimon driver killed

A Nasiman driver was stabbed to death at Technical intersection in the municipality area here yesterday morning. Criminals stabbed him at the crowded place over past enmity, police and locals said. The victim, Shopon,25, was son of Panai Pramanik of village Kacharipara in the district headquarters. Police and locals claimed, criminals attacked him at about 9:30 am yesterday when he came to the Technical intersection. As criminals stabbed him indiscriminately, he was taken to Pabna General Hospital in a critical condition but doctors shifted him to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital (RMCH). He died on way to RMCH. Acting officer-in-charge of Pabna police station Md Badruddoza said police recovered the body and sent it to Pabna General Hospital morgue for autopsy.

Letters

Sending our army to Afghanistan

"Of sending men home from the dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice and love."

Mindless hill cutting

A couple of decades ago, the main attraction of Sylhet was the small hills. Unfortunately, Sylhet is losing its beauty. Some powerful land grabbers are cutting hills for their own benefits. Local people have said police is not doing anything about it. Rather it is an opportunity for them to take bribe from the criminals. The ultimate result of hill cutting will be horrible. Many people of Chittagong died in mudslides due to hill cutting. May be in future people of Sylhet will face the same fate.

Eye medicines

Bangladesh is a poor country with a huge population. Hence many people do not get adequate food and medicine. People cannot afford costly treatment and medicines. A large number of people are suffering from various types of eye diseases. Eye treatment is very costly, because most of the medicines are imported from abroad. For treatment of "Glaucoma" doctors advise patients to use the medicines Alphagan and Lumigan for their lifetime, as this disease is generally not curable. It has been observed that the prices of the above medicines increased by about 200% by the importers, and retailers are accordingly charging high prices from the patients. This had caused great concern amongst Glaucoma patients in the country. It is feared that the prices will further go up soon.

Sick condition of hospitals

It is good that National Human Rights Commission has spotlighted the sick condition of Dhaka Medical College Hospital and The Daily Star also gave it due coverage. Will anybody look into the private hospitals? Will anybody tell us what is going on inside those luxurious buildings? Any investigating journalist will find horrifying pictures inside these so-called hospitals. People are suffering from wrong treatments, and some are dying because of ignorance of the so-called consultants!

Educational institutions

Teaching is a very noble profession and teachers are looked upon with much reverence. We used to think that this profession does not have any hazards, but not anymore, the present situation of our country has made us change our minds. Now-a-days we frequently hear about teachers being harassed by students, they are physically attacked, get confined, verbally abused and so on. The latest incident was reported in The Daily Star on September 28, 2010. It described the brutal attack of Awami League activists on Md. Abu Taher, Principal of Tabalchhari Green Hill College in Matiranga upazila of Khagrachhari district. It was disclosed that the attackers severely beat him and broke his left leg. Since the Awami League formed the government, unrest has erupted in many educational institutions across the country. Bangladesh Chhatra League is clashing among themselves and also attacking Chhatra Dal and Chhatra Shibir. We learned that on September 27, 2010 a group of BCL men stabbed an activist of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal on the campus of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, which left him critically injured. If this is the condition of our educational institutions, then what is the future of the country?

MPs and media

Your editorial "Parliamentarians take a dig at media" dated September 23, 2010 seemed to indicate your surprise at the bellicosity of the ruling party MPs towards the media. While I commend your optimism, the reality is that just because of someone is elected does not necessarily make that person a democrat. Lest we forget our own history, the inconvenient truth of the matter is that the current ruling party was the first government in our history to ban all newspapers outright, with the exception of the four controlled by its own organs. One may say that all that happened more than thirty years ago, but keep in mind that some of the very MPs who voted to ban newspapers in 1974 are sitting on the treasury benches in 2010. If they could get away with it without any scrutiny from the outside world, I am pretty sure they would do it again.

Session jam

It is a matter of great regret that owing to session jam students cannot complete their education in right time in Bangladesh. As most of the university students come from poor families, it becomes difficult for the families to bear their educational expenses for the extra years. It takes 7 or 8 years to complete a 4-year honours course! Political clashes, unwarranted closures, irregular class schedules are some of the major causes behind this session jam. The students of Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Science University, Jagannath University and Rajshahi University are the worst victims of session jam.

Border killings

The joint meeting between BDR and BSF, reported in your daily on September 27, seems to have allowed both sides to openly discuss the issue of border killings by BSF. The Director General Srivastava of BSF considers the civilians being killed at the border as "criminals" and that they are being killed inside the "Indian territory". Does he imply therefore that it should be of no concern to Bangladesh? What kind of justification is this for killing civilian trespassers? It should be remembered that it is against international human rights law to kill an unarmed civilian, even if he/she is a smuggler or a criminal, and it holds independently of whichever territory he/she is found when being killed.

BCL and Jubo League

The highly deplorable heinous activities of Chhatra League, Jubo League elements and some ruling party MPs, are continuously shocking us. The recent incidence in Pabna is an eye opener and is a classical example of criminalisation of politics. Nowadays we find no difference among BCL, Chhatra Dal and notorious NSF. They behave in the same manner. I voted and will continue to vote for the AL, and also influenced many of my friends, relatives to vote for the AL in all the elections. It pains me a lot reading about all the incidences perpetrated by BCL, Jubo League leaders and workers.I would like to narrate a personal sad and shameful experience of mine while in 2nd year in Dhaka Medical College. We got admitted in Dhaka Medical College in 1969. In those days the present BCL was popularly known as Mujibbadi Chhatra League (MCL), and the other was ' Baigganik Chhatra League' (BCL). One afternoon in 1972, my Hindu classmate and roommate was called out from the room and was planned to be beaten up by some of my classmates belonging to MCL for reasons best known to them. I prevented the beating by asking them as to why they want to beat him up. So, naturally I incurred their wrath. The same night our room was knocked after midnight. I opened the door. On opening, I was suddenly and firmly boxed on the nose by one of our classmates. He was fully drunk and was accompanied by seven/eight of our classmates. The majority were dead drunk. Two vomited on the corridor. The boxer classmate of ours brought out a pistol and jabbed the same on my abdomen. They were also verbally abusing me like anything. I was in a near death situation. Our another roommate friend pacified them and saved my life. Such was the conditions prevailing in Dhaka Medical College in those days. In the next election of DMC Student Union, Chhatra Union (Motia) won almost all the seats including VP, GS etc.

America's trap

During our PM's recent visit to the USA, the special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan of the US Richard Holbrook gave a proposal to our Foreign Minister Dipu Moni to send some troops to Afghanistan to help the coalition forces there. Undoubtedly, it is an American trap and Bangladesh must not enter such a trap anyway. America is the super power and can attack any country any time without considering the reaction of the world. America has committed a great sin by attacking Iraq and Afghanistan and killing thousands of innocent people there. We do not support the activities of the Taliban in Afghanistan. We strongly believe that their activities are against the spirit of Islam but there is no logic for the B&B gang (Bush, Blair and their accomplices) to send troops there.

Pabna whipped

Finally the civil administration of Pabna got whipped by the political hierarchy allowing the administration little chance to defend themselves. This unprecedented incident will remain as a big blot for the whole civil administration of the country for long to forget and forgive. Instead of getting justice they got severe thrashing from the policymakers due to political pressure. It is really painful to read that the advisor of the PM, H.T. Imam accused them of crying in front of the civil society and media. By doing this they have violated the code of conduct of the civil administration. My question is don't those people, who are being manhandled and even mercilessly beaten by the political thugs during performing their duties, even have the right to express their sentiment? If this practice keeps continuing in such a manner, people will lose their faith on civil administration, and party politics will take over the whole administration very soon.

BNP smells a rat!

A local English daily's 30th September issue had a front-page headline write-up by their staff reporter. It brought back memories of my rat smelling days during my college life. I prefer to share this with the readers, rather than rats involved in politics and legal matters. I will leave it to our political and legal experts to analyse and dissect. I only wonder what rat did BNP smell? Was it a live or dead rat? If it was a live rat I believe that it could smell like most furry creatures in the wild, tinged with the smell of earth, to which rats burrow in to avoid other animals, and large birds of prey that might dive down, and make a meal of the rat! Dead rats however naturally smell of putrefaction, depending on the interval between the rat's death and its smelling! This smell will be really obnoxious! My experience of dead rats, was related to practical dissection classes in Zoology, way back in 1949-50. We had live rats, killed by waste cotton soaked in chloroform, then cleaned with laboratory spirit and mounted on a wax based dissection tray. Naturally, these freshly killed rats smelt of chloroform, and nothing else. Here too, my knowledge is superficial, since I disliked Zoology.

Why a new airport?

A news report was published in The Daily Star on August 28, 2010 about the government's intention of building a new airport and naming it after Bangabandhu. This is a huge project that requires Tk. 50,000 crore plus.

International

Suu Kyi sues junta to keep her party intact

Detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi filed a lawsuit against Myanmar's junta at the Supreme Court yesterday for dissolving her party ahead of widely criticised elections, her lawyer said.

NY bomb plotter jailed for life

A Pakistani-American warned Americans "the war with the Muslims has just begun," as he was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison for a botched attempt to bomb New York's famed Times Square.

Nasa launches Himalayas monitoring system in Nepal

A new system that will allow scientists to monitor the impact of climate change in the Himalayas using images from Nasa satellites was launched in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu on Tuesday.

Indonesia president cancels Netherlands visit over arrest threat

Indonesia's President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, has called off a state visit to the Netherlands because of a threat that he could be arrested.

India starts scaling down security in Kashmir

Authorities in Srinagar began removing some security bunkers yesterday as part of New Delhi's efforts to defuse tensions in the troubled region.

Nepal police block vote by Tibetan exiles

Armed police have blocked thousands of Tibetan exiles in Nepal from voting for a new government-in-exile by forcibly seizing ballot boxes, police and activists said.

Obama rules out 'adjustment'

US President Barack Obama has told lawmakers that no current changes are needed to his Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy, as US forces escalate operations against the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

China, Japan 'end spat' over maritime collision

Japan declared an end yesterday to a dispute with China over a high-seas collision last month and the two countries agreed to resume exchanges and projects that had been stopped because of the incident.

US drone kills Germans in Pakistan terror zone

A US drone strike has killed eight militants, including five Germans, in Pakistan's anarchic tribal belt where Western intelligence has traced an alleged plot to attack an array of targets in Europe.

Vatican slates Nobel to test tube baby pioneer

The Vatican's top bioethics official said Robert Edwards, who received the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday for developing in vitro fertilisation, opened "a new and important chapter in the field of human reproduction" but is also responsible for the destruction of embryos and the creation of a "market" in donor eggs.

Chile miners mark two months as trapped

The 33 trapped miners in northern Chile were set yesterday to mark two months underground, as President Sebastian Pinera said he hoped to bring the workers to the surface by the end of next week.

Egyptian newspaper sacks dissident chief editor

A leading independent Egyptian daily has fired its chief editor, an outspoken government critic, amid what journalists are calling a state crackdown on the media ahead of parliamentary elections.

Indonesian flash floods kill 56

At least 56 people were killed and 24 remain missing after flash floods in a remote region of Indonesia's West Papua province, a disaster management official said yesterday.

Venezuela denies links to Basque militants

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dismissed a claim that Basque militants received weapons training in his country, calling it a farce aimed at discrediting his government.

Arts & Entertainment

Dhak and dhol in great demand

As Durga Puja draws near, Narayan Chandra Das, an expert in making dhak (big drums) and dhol (smaller drums) has his hands full. When this correspondent met him at his shop on Kalibari Road in the town he was hard at work trying to meet orders from in and outside the district.

Dreams in watercolour

'Jolrong-er Shopno' (dreams in watercolour) -- bearing this theme, a photo exhibition has begun at Arjuntala on the campus of Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST), Sylhet from last Sunday.

Weeding out a social evil

A play that aimed to generate awareness about 'eve teasing', domestic violence and child abuse, was staged in a village under Biral upazila of Dinajpur on Monday afternoon to mark World Children's Day 2010.

Conversation with the butterflies -- Abida and Arjun

Abida and her “Projapotita Jokhon Tokhon” became synonymous almost four years ago. She proved that one can become famous with just one good song. The lighthearted song was featured in Arnob's mixed album “Jhalmuri”. The album (a set of two CDS) enjoyed a great public response and the FM radio stations played the songs of “Jhalmuri”, especially Abida's song “Projapotita”. Recently, Abida and Arjun worked together for the film “Phirey Esho Behula”. The song from the film, “Bhalobasha Tomar Ghorey”, has been written by Arjun and set to tune by Abida.

Painting competition to mark World Children’s Day

A painting competition for children was held on Monday morning to mark World Children's Day and Child Rights' Week 2010 at Thakurgaon Zila Parishad Auditorium.

Airline’s Lady Gaga safety dance goes viral

Lady Gaga is on board in spirit, and she's part of the safety demonstration -- how to put on your seat belt, how to put on the oxygen mask if needed.

OP-ED

The art of losing votes

Let the advice go out to the government: formulating a national media policy is not a good idea. And it is not because of two important reasons. The first, of course, is the government's repeated assertions of its belief in a free press. The second follows from the first, which is that if indeed the government thinks the freedom of the media is conducive to the growth of democracy, it ought not to do anything that even remotely looks like a move to discipline the media.

Re-unification of Germany: 20th Anniversary

Many call it a miracle, Germany's peaceful revolution in 1989 and reunification of East and West Germany less than a year later, which was remembered on October 3 by the German embassy in Dhaka.

Judicial supersession

The appointment of Justice A.B.M. Khairul Haque to the prestigious office of Chief Justice of Bangladesh, superseding two senior judges Justice M.A. Matin and Justice Shah Abu Nayeem M.R., brings to the fore perplexing questions regarding the many alleged ramifications of judicial supersession (judicial appointment disregarding seniority) on the independence of the judiciary.

Teachers deserve better

World Teachers' Day was proclaimed by Unesco on October 5, 1994, in an International Conference on Education at Geneva to recognise the contributions and achievements of teachers. This resolution was confirmed in a General Conference of Unesco in Paris in 1996. October 5 was chosen because, on this date in 1966, Unesco adopted some recommendations concerning the status of teachers in a special Inter-Governmental conference in Paris in co-operation with ILO.

Brac's Field Marshall

Aminul Alam's sudden and untimely death has shaken all of us who know, respect and love Brac. From 1975 to 2010, Amin bhai was at the heart of Brac's field programmes, translating Brac's vision into practical reality. Working alongside Sir Fazle Hasan Abed for thirty-five years, Amin helped develop Brac's programmes in all sectors -- microfinance and enterprise development, agriculture and livelihood promotion, health and education, human rights and legal aid, disaster preparedness and response, and more.



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