The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, October 1, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 8th of December, 2010

Front Page

Assange arrested in UK

WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange was arrested in London yesterday after surrendering to a Swedish arrest warrant, the latest blow to an organisation that faces legal, financial and technological challenges after releasing hundreds of secret US diplomatic cables.

Fire in Old Dhaka again

In yet another chemical fire in Old Dhaka, two youths were badly burned yesterday while refilling cigarette lighters at a building storing liquid petroleum gas and lighter refill canisters on Nazimuddin Road.

Contact not made yet

The government has no update on the hijacked Bangladeshi ship MV Jahan Moni except for its location. Officials could not make any contact with the crew members or the pirates till yesterday.

Edn not served rightly by state

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said yesterday the state did not perform properly its constitutional duties to ensure free and compulsory education for the people.

Mega projects in huge mess

Most projects the Awami League government has taken up to improve the traffic situation in Dhaka failed to meet deadlines due to lack of coordination between different ministries and agencies.

Families live on nerves

The fear of the possible worst is eating up Shaila Farid, wife of Farid Ahmed, master of hijacked ship MV Jahan Moni.

Manmohan said nothing

The Indian high commission in Dhaka yesterday said Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had not made any comments about Prof Muhammad Yunus or Grameen Bank of late.

Stalker's acid threat ruins her HSC exams

A college girl in Dinajpur could not sit for her HSC test examination yesterday, as a stalker threatened to throw acid on her face on way to the college.

Heritage site unprotected

The Mahasthan Mazar Unnayan Committee and Bogra district administration ignored till yesterday all written requests from the authorities concerned not to destroy Mahasthangarh Archaeological Site.

HC weighs in to stop construction

The High Court yesterday directed the local administration to act within 24 hours to stop construction work near Mahasthangarh in Bogra to preserve the archaeological site.

All can see list of vested property

The government yesterday placed in parliament a bill seeking amendments to the vested property act for returning the seized property to the real owners.

19 countries to shun Nobel gala

China and 18 other countries have said they will not attend Friday's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has said.

3 fined in maiden drive to save environment

In its maiden initiative to preserve the country's only coral island, the Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined two organisations and an individual Tk 16.5 lakh for damaging the ecology of St Martin's Island.

SSC exams from Feb 1

Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Dakhil examinations of 2011 would begin on February 1 and end before March 23 across the country.

Teacher the tormentor

A teacher's indecent punishment and humiliation to a female student at Kushtia Polytechnic Institution triggered agitation on the campus yesterday.

It's transit, not corridor

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday said the government is not allowing a 'corridor' to any country, rather it is going to provide transit facility.

WikiLeaks' Assange, an enigma with a mission

Julian Assange, who was arrested for rape yesterday, has worked hard to keep his own private life shrouded in mystery as his WikiLeaks website spills the beans on US diplomacy.

Pedestrian dies as brick falls on his head

A pedestrian yesterday met his end as a brick crashed on his head from an under-construction building at Jatrabari of the capital.

Mahmudur's bail plea rejected

The Supreme Court yesterday refused to entertain a bail petition by Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of the daily Amar Desh, in connection with the contempt of court charge, for which he was sentenced earlier.

Sabbir, Ibrahim murder cases to be included

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday ordered inclusion of much-talked about Sabbir murder case and Ibrahim killing case in the ministry's list of sensational cases.

Editorial

Further amending upazila parishad law!

LGRD minister Syed Ashraful Islam has placed a bill before the parliament seeking alterations to the upazila parishad law whereby it appears that the executive authority over the local body will be further consolidated. The proposed law envisages widening of the definition of 'misconduct' on charges of which chairman, a vice-chairman or any member of a parishad can be removed from office as well as procedurial changes in effecting the removal of an incumbent.

Bangladeshi ship in pirate hands

The seizure of a Bangladeshi vessel, MV Jahan Moni, by Somali pirates on Sunday on the Arabian Sea once again brings to light a problem which has increasingly been upsetting sensibilities everywhere. The state of lawlessness which Somalia has been going through, particularly in the absence of a credible government, has spawned all this piracy which is today a menace before every nation engaged in shipping. In the past, these pirates have seized not only ships and their crew but have also abducted individuals who were simply on excursions on small vessels. It can be easily surmised as to what torment hostages go through at the hands of the Somali pirates, who hardly have any inclination, other than demanding ransom, towards demonstrating decent and civilized behaviour.

Sports

Enormous English win

England crushed Australia by an innings and 71 runs after a spectacular collapse of wickets early on the final day in the second Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval on Tuesday.

Cup facts

The 1992 World Cup, the fifth cricket World Cup, was jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. It began with a match between the hosts in Auckland on 22 February and continued till 25 March.

Franklin lifts Kiwis

New Zealand demonstrated fighting spirit by setting up a challenging target of 316 for India in the fourth one-day international (ODI) at the M Chinnaswamy Cricket Stadium here Tuesday.

Siddons to join Tigers in time

Jamie Siddons is set to join the Tigers on the morning of the fourth one-day match against Zimbabwe in Chittagong on Friday.

London expats to visit Bangladesh

Western United will visit Bangladesh to play six matches in the next month as the London-based Bangladeshi expatriates football club expressed their wishes to the Bangladesh Football Federation.

Pioneer League returns

The league that has produced numerous stars like Monem Munna, Rummon Bin Wali Sabbir, Samrat Hossain Emily, Imtiaz Ahmed Nakib, and Jakir Hossain is all set to return to business after a three-year hiatus as the Pioneer Football League gets re-inaugurated today at the Birshreshtha Shaheed Mostafa Kamal Stadium.

Perth Test sold out

The first two days of next week's third Ashes Test between Australia and England in Perth are sell-outs, organisers said on Tuesday.

No decision yet on Pak cricketers

The Indian Premier League (IPL) governing council has not taken any decision on whether to include or exclude players from Pakistan for the league's players' auction scheduled for January 8-9 next year, a member of the Twenty20 league's ruling body said.

Sehwag to leave for SA today

Dashing opener Virender Sehwag changed his original plan to leave for South Africa with four other Indian cricketers due to viral infection and he will depart on Wednesday, sources in the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Tuesday.

Botham, Chappell clash in car park

Ian Botham and Ian Chappell resumed their 30-year feud in spectacular fashion during the second Test in Adelaide, when they had to be pulled apart by their respective Sky and Channel Nine colleagues following a dust-up in the car park at the close of the fourth day's play.

Ricky slips down rankings

Australia's Ricky Ponting has dropped out of the top 20 in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test batting rankings for the first time since 2001 after his side's crushing defeat by England in Adelaide.

Ponting has to score

A downcast Ricky Ponting says he faces one of his greatest challenges as captain and batsman to get beleaguered Australia back into the Ashes series against England.

Momentum with Eng

Skipper Andrew Strauss savoured England's first innings victory in Australia for 24 years on Tuesday and said his confident side now had crucial momentum in the series.

KP feels satisfied

The best feeling for Kevin Pietersen in winning the second Ashes Test was walking into a jubilant England dressing room after his bitter Adelaide memories of four years ago.

Broad distraught

England fast bowler Stuart Broad said he knew before anyone else his participation in the Ashes has been cut short by a stomach injury that left him "feeling like I couldn't breathe".

Cantona's revolt fails

Eric Cantona's bid to destroy global banking appeared to have failed Tuesday as his French compatriots ignored his call to withdraw cash en masse and it emerged his wife had appeared in a TV bank ad.

Neuville calls it quits

Former Germany striker Oliver Neuville announced on Tuesday that he has decided to retire from football at the age of 37, after German second division side Arminia Bielefeld terminated his contract.

Belgrade celebrates Davis Cup victory

More than 1,000 people, mostly young, braved the cold on Monday, gathering in front of the capital's City Hall to celebrate Serbia's Davis Cup victory over France this weekend.

Desailly loses Ghana interest

France's Ghanaian-born World Cup winning defender Marcel Desailly told AFP on Monday he was no longer interested in taking over as coach of World Cup quarterfinalists Ghana.

Liverpool thrash Villa

Liverpool ensured there would be no happy return for former manager Gerard Houllier as they beat the Frenchman's Aston Villa side 3-0 in the Premier League here on Monday.

Fergie fears for Hargreaves

Sir Alex Ferguson has cast doubt over the long term future of Owen Hargreaves after the Manchester United manager revealed the midfielder had travelled to Germany to see a specialist regarding his latest injury.

Maggio fires Napoli

Christian Maggio scored deep into injury time to give Napoli a 1-0 victory at home to Palermo at the San Paolo in Naples on Monday night.

Make or break for Gunners

With five teams in the bottom half of the Champions League draw already assured of a place in the next round, Arsenal and Roma are among the only heavyweight contenders yet to secure their progress.

'No rift with Mancini'

Carlos Tevez has insisted all is well between himself and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, saying the situation at Eastlands is no different from other clubs.

UEFA reduces Mourinho punishment

UEFA on Monday diluted Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho's punishment over the apparently deliberate red cards received by two of his players in a Champions League match against Ajax.

Jol quits Ajax

Former Spurs boss Martin Jol on Monday quit as coach of Dutch fallen giants Ajax, who said they had accepted his resignation.

Business

Export powerhouse?

Bangladesh can become an export powerhouse, after China, as its labour-intensive export sector is growing by 30 percent a year driven by booming manufacturing and agricultural activities.

Hasina calls for positive branding of Bangladesh

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged businessmen to go for positive branding of Bangladesh to attract more foreign investment to create more employment.

Bangladesh Building System plans IPO

Bangladesh Building System Ltd (BBS) plans to go public to raise working capital in an effort to meet its expanding project costs.

Capital market institute comes into being

An educational institute dedicated for capital market starts its journey tomorrow, aiming to provide all sorts of training to develop human resources for the country's growing stockmarket.

Experts put forward growth factors

The country should search for new sectors and markets, improve skills of the labour force, and focus on improving agricultural productivity to boost its economic growth, economists said at a discussion in Dhaka yesterday.

Software park in Janata Tower next year

The much-talked-about Janata Tower in the capital is at last set to become the country's first-ever Software Technology Park by the end of next year following a formal government move to hand over the building to the Ministry of Science and Information Communications Technology.

Correction pulls down stocks

The benchmark index of Dhaka stocks suffered the third largest single-day fall yesterday, since its inception in 2001, as a price correction trend continued for a second session yesterday.

BB warns against hidden fees

Bangladesh Bank (BB) has warned financial institutions against charging any irrational fees other than what is spelled out in agreements on loans and lease, according to a directive issued yesterday.

Moves on to set overland transit fees

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday said an official exercise is in progress to set the tariff for the overland transit facilities to India under a deal signed to carry over dimensional consignments (ODC) for a power project at Palatana in Tripura through Bangladesh.

Dubai may delay opening of new passenger airport

Dubai Airports said on Tuesday it may delay the scheduled March opening of a passenger terminal at a new airport as it unveiled plans to expand capacity at its old airport to 90 million passengers by 2018.

Smokers' cabin filters out menace

A Danish-Bangladesh joint venture plans to introduce smoke-filtering cabins to the domestic market in a bid to widen its reach, which already includes exports to Europe.

The bilateral trade illusion

Over the last seven years, Bangladesh has tried to engage in bilateral free trade deals with several countries. A series of initiatives were undertaken, but very little progress was made. Yet the recent disclosures of the commerce minister regarding bilateral Free Trade agreements (FTAs) with India and Malaysia again brought the issue to the fore.

Citi boss in town

Michael J Paulus, managing director and public sector group head for Citi Asia Pacific, is in Dhaka to att-end a seminar, said a statement.

East Asia heading for economic slowdown, warns ADB

East Asia will post slower growth next year due to a wobbly US recovery, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) warned Tuesday, adding that greater exchange rate cooperation could help safeguard the region.

Bank of England to sit tight on rates until 2011

The Bank of England is tipped to keep British interest rates at a record low 0.50 percent on Thursday at its final monetary policy meeting of 2010 and before an expected slowdown in economic growth.

Trainee attendant on Qantas blast flight takes legal action

A flight attendant who was on her second training trip when a Qantas engine exploded last month said Tuesday she would take legal action, claiming she was fired for complaining about counselling.

US exits Citigroup stake and earns $12 billion profit

The US government sold off its remaining shares in Citigroup Inc on Monday for $4.35 each, marking an exit from ownership in the bailed-out banking giant with a $12 billion gross profit for taxpayers.

China rate rise talk builds as loans and inflation rise

China is likely to raise interest rates in the coming days in a demonstration of the government's resolve to tame inflation, an official newspaper said on Tuesday.

Corporate Briefs

SAVAR REFRACTORIES
The company's Board of Directors has decided to increase its authorised capital from Tk 2.50 crore to Tk 30 crore and amendment of Memorandum and Articles of Association and to change the face value of shares from Tk 100 to Tk 10 each and market lot from 5 to 50 shares, subject to the approval of the shareholders in the extraordinary general meeting and regulatory authorities. The board has also decided to revalue its assets by the experienced authorised valuer. The EGM will be held on January 6, 2011 (at 11am) at Hotel Sundarban in Dhaka. The record date of meeting is December 15.

Oil falls

Oil prices sank below 89 dollars in Asian trade on Tuesday as jitters over an expected interest rate hike by the Chinese central bank scared traders, analysts said.

Metropolitan

Grassroots people deprived of proper health services

Speakers at a view exchange meeting yesterday said the people at grassroots level are deprived of proper health services due to mismanagement and lack of coordination in the health care system.

TB claims 72,000, attacks three lakh a year, say experts

Experts at a discussion yesterday stressed the need for participation of private practitioners to control tuberculosis (TB) in the country.

Project to buy 450 buses for BRTC okayed

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) at a meeting yesterday approved 12 development projects involving Tk 2,086 crore, including a project to procure 450 buses for the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC).

Bangladesh, Mexico can cooperate in new areas

Ambassador-designate of Bangladesh to Mexico, Akramul Qader, has said the two countries can explore new areas of cooperation, particularly in the filed of trade.

Transparency crucial to combat graft

Accountability and transparency at all levels of governance are crucial to prevent corruption in the society, said anti-corruption activists at a debate competition in the city yesterday.

Kidney donation after death can save 30,000 lives

Some 30,000 lives could be saved if people start donating kidneys after their deaths, said experts at the 6th national conference of Kidney Foundation held in the city yesterday.

39 jawans cross-examine four witnesses

Thirty-nine mutineers of 24 Rifles Battalion yesterday cross-examined four witnesses before the Special Court-7 at BDR headquarters in the city.

Road accidents kill 10

At least 10 people were killed and 32 others injured in separate road accidents in Manikganj and Natore districts on Monday night and yesterday.

'WikiLeaks puts US diplomacy in embarrassing state'

WikiLeaks' release of classified US State Department reports puts the US diplomacy in an embarrassing situation.

43 Jamaat men held in Narsingdi, Ctg

At least 43 Jamaat leaders and activists were arrested and 40 others injured during clash with police in Narsingdi and Chittagong yesterday.

12 win Pran-Prothom Alo pickle contest

The gala award ceremony of Pran-Prothom Alo National Pickle Competition-2010 was held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city on Monday.

'Bangladesh has scope to export culture'

Speakers at a press conference yesterday said Bangladesh has a great opportunity to make its mark in the world by exporting its rich culture.

3 institutions' names sought from each MP

Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid yesterday sought names of three educational institutions from each lawmaker of 300 constituencies to enlist them in the monthly payment order (MPO) list.

Hotel, business house fined for polluting St Martin Island

A mobile team of Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined a hotel, a business house and a retired government official of Tk 16.5 lakh for polluting environment in the Saint Martin Island.

Teachers' registration exams Dec 10, 11

The 6th examination for the registration of teachers of non-government schools, colleges and madrasas will be held on December 10 and 11, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said yesterday.

Three cocktails recovered

Three live cocktails were recovered from a jungle at Chaiter Para village of Kaliganj upazila in the district yesterday.

Street drama on corruption concludes

A two daylong street rally and street drama to motivate youths for preventing corruption has ended in Savar yesterday.

IEB elections tomorrow

The country's engineer community is going to elect the new office bearers to the Institution of Engineers Bangladesh (IEB) tomorrow, according to IEB officials.

Govt gets a week for preparation of hearing

The High Court yesterday gave one-week time to the government to take preparation for hearing the writ petition that challenged the martial law trial and execution of Col Abu Taher in 1976.

Air fighters in '71 war brought nation pride

The room sunk into a pin drop silence when Capt (rtd) Shamsul Alam Bir Uttam was narrating his air attack on the oil storage at Chittagong Port during the Liberation War on December 3, 1971.

MPs to get info to better deliberations

The Parliament Secretariat from now on will provide lawmakers with useful and reliable information assisting them to improve their budgetary deliberations in the House and to scrutinise budget in the committees effectively.

23 tolas gold, Tk 2 lakh looted

A gang of seven robbers looted 23 tolas of gold ornaments and Tk 2 lakh in cash from a house in the city's Mirpur last night.

National

Survey of Sylhet-Meghalaya borders starts today

All preparations are set to start joint survey of Sylhet-Meghalaya borders today.

None came to share pain of the families of victims

December 8 is 'Netrakona Tragedy Day'.

Pirates loot two vessels on Meghna injuring 13

Pirate gangs on the Meghna river raided a passenger trawler and a cargo vessel under Hizla upazila yesterday and injured 13 people.

FFs free Chandpur, Patuakhali

On December 8 in 1971, heroic freedom fighters freed Chandpur and Patuakhali from Pakistan occupation army.

Deposition of all 21 witnesses completed

The special court-14 yesterday completed taking statements of all the 21 witnesses in the mutiny case against 61 BDR personnel of 38 Rifles Battalion under Sylhet sector.

Four firearms seized in Ctg

A Rapid Action Battalion team (Rab) in a drive seized four firearms and four cartridges from a slum in the city yesterday.

11 Jamaat men held while trying to stage protest

Police yesterday arrested 11 Jamaat leaders and activists while they were preparing to bring out a procession near deputy commissioner's (DC) office in the city.

RU students boycott dining halls

The resident students of Rajshahi University (RU) started boycotting dining halls from yesterday protesting hike in meal charge.

Tragic

An examinee for admission test at Nursing Institute of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital (RMCH) died of suffocation as one end of her scarf caught into wheels of the running auto-rickshaw in which she was going to the test centre at RMCH on Monday.

Two brick kilns fined

A mobile court on Monday fined two brick kilns at Dipchar in Sadar upazila for polluting the environment. The mobile court led by executive magistrate of Pabna district administration Md. Sarwar Alam and aided by Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) raided 'Rohit Bricks' and 'Rafsa Enterprise' in the afternoon. During the drive the mobile court found that the brick kilns were burning wood violating rules and polluting environment and fined each kiln Tk 10,000 for the offence.

One killed in Bogra clash

A man was stabbed to death and his two sons were injured in a clash over a disputed land in Kalitola area under Sariakandi upazila Monday morning. The deceased was identified as Islam Molla, 55. His two sons Imaran, 17, and Younus, 23, were taken to Shahid Ziaur Rahman Medical College Hospital. Office-in-charge Sahidar Rahman of Sariakandi police station said Ismail Molla and his family members engaged in an altercation with another local Tarajul Member over depositing sand on a disputed land. At one stage, supporters of Tarajul swooped on Islam Molla and his sons with sharp weapons, leaving Islam Molla dead on the spot and his sons injured.

Rivals attack Jubo Dal men

Two Jubo Dal activists were injured in attacks by their party rivals in Shankarpur Chopdarpara area on Saturday. Locals said there was a longstanding rivalry between the two factions of Jubo Dal -- one led by Monowar and another by Dhoni -- over establishing supremacy in the area. As a sequel to the dispute, the members of Monowar group beat up and injured Rana of Dhoni group on Friday night over a trifling matter. Later, on Saturday morning when Moniruzzaman Moni of Dhoni group wanted to know the reason behind beating up Rana, Monowar's supporters again attacked and stabbed him indiscriminately leaving him critically injured. Locals rescued Moni and admitted him to Jessore 250-bed General Hospital.

20 hurt as AL rivals clash

At least 20 people were injured in a clash between two factions of Awami League over illegal toll collection at Sreepur village in Tahirpur upazila on Sunday. Locals said AL activists Akbar-Motiur Rahman group of village Sreepur Kurerpar and Shoyeb Mia-Mohibul group of Shibrampur village had been collecting illegal tolls from coal and limestone laden cargo ships and trawlers in Patlai river in the area since long. They said an altercation ensued between the two groups over collecting tolls Sunday afternoon. Later, both the groups equipped with lethal weapons attacked each other leaving 20 people injured from both sides. Of the injured, Ali Akbar, 35, Motiur Rahman, 28, Akik, 42, Khasrul, 30, Kharlak, 28, Asikul, 38, Ali Reza, 40, Mahtabul, 22, Golam Ali, 55, Ruman Mia, 30, Babul Mia, 50, Badrul, 32, and Bablu, 20, were admitted to different hospitals.

Housewife beaten to death

A housewife was beaten to death allegedly by her husband at Nabipura village in Sadar upazila for dowry Sunday night. The deceased was identified as Habiba Begum, 20. Family sources said Tofazzal Hossain married Habiba, daughter of Suruj Miah of Karimpur village three years back. Tofazzal since then used to torture his wife for dowry. On the fateful night, he asked Habiba to bring dowry money from her parents. An she refused to do so, he became furious and beat Habiba mercilessly leaving her dead on the spot. On information, police recovered the body yesterday morning and sent it to Sadar hospital morgue for autopsy. Tofazzal and his mother were arrested in this connection. A case was filed.

Letters

Charter for change!

On 12th December 2008, Awami League leaders declared election manifesto and electoral pledges by announcing Charter for Change. On the following day i.e. 13th December 2008, all the newspapers carried out special news features about AL's declaration of new vision and mission. It is hoped that the honourable editor and readers of The Daily Star can recollect it. We, the general people, were very optimistic about the future golden days to come. We thought that the evil things of the past would disappear and new era in our life would come if AL was voted to power. There would be no lie, no conspiracy, no false statement, no hypocrisy, no vandalism, no session jam in the educational institutions, no extortion by the political leaders and activists and so on. We were dreaming that the prices of all essential commodities would be within the reach of common people. In brief, the past with bad things would be replaced with many good things for us.

Small flyovers

The construction work of the much talked about and controversial Jatrabari flyover has started. How many people and motor vehicles would use the giant flyover from one end to another and help lessen and solve the traffic jam in Dhaka city? The flyover would not be able to help the people of the important, busy and crowded areas. The huge waste of time in Dhaka roads is due to frequent halt of motor vehicles at innumerable road crossings, road squares, road turning points, road intersections and traffic signals of important and busy roads. Construction of a giant flyover will not reduce the traffic jams in Dhaka. We can neither reduce the growing population of Dhaka nor do away with its increasing number of vehicles. Further we cannot ban holding of meetings, rallies and processions; and hawkers and vendors will stay on the streets.

International Year of Chemistry

The year 2011 has been recognised by the UNESCO as the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011) in an attempt to increase the general interest in this field of science. This Year of Chemistry will commemorate the achievements of chemistry and its glorious contributions to science and mankind. The resolution of IYC was put forward by Ethiopia, co-sponsored by 23 nations, and the declaration from UN came in 2008. To make the year a success, different national organisations such as Royal Society of Chemistry, American Chemical Society, Brazilian Chemical Society, and regional federations like European Association for Chemistry and Molecular Sciences have taken many programmes. The events arranged will surely try to involve the public and the young generation for making them aware of the significance of chemistry in our everyday life.

Early education

Nowadays, we see that many parents get their kids admitted into schools as soon as s/he turns three. At an early age, it is natural for the kids to play and learn the ways of life from their parents and the surrounding environment. But the kids are compelled to take the load of studies in these days. This is harmful for their mental health. So, I request all parents not to admit their kids into schools until they reach the age of six.

Punish the harassers

Incidents of harassment are taking place one after another. The usual way of handling the cases by the law enforcing authorities is not enough any more. In the usual way, after the first few days of hue and cry the matter subsides.

Smearing Prof. Yunus' integrity

The recent news in media on misuse of Norwegian aid by Prof Yunus drew my attention. This is simply vilification of a man whom they honoured with a Nobel Prize very recently. I am not a supporter of microcredit or any NGO activity. Microcredit helps, in certain cases, some people and some time, but not a poor society at large and never. But Prof. Yunus firmly believes that microcredit can be a good way for poverty alleviation in poor countries. I do not doubt his sincerity. I strongly believe that Prof. Yunus is an honest man and trying to do something for poverty alleviation. I disagree with him on the benefit of microcredit and I don't believe that microcredit can make any society well off and poverty free. Only a good government and massive investment aiming poverty alleviation can help a country to uplift from the curse of poverty. Don't the Norwegian and Western world know it? Why this hue and cry now?

Go Tigers!

Quite frankly, the performance of the Bangladesh cricket team against New Zealand took us all by surprise. Except for a few instances, they were quite professional in playing the game. There was a marked difference in their body language, especially in the fielding department; earlier we've seen countless times the good work of the bowlers being spoiled by shoddy fielding. And it should be mentioned how Shakib Al Hasan has grown over the years and led the team from the front. We've seen him providing crucial breakthroughs, steering the team out of danger when wickets fall consistently at the other end, and of course, winning games for Bangladesh almost single-handedly. Bangladesh team is performing brilliantly in the five-match Micromax ODI series against Zimbabwe.

Encourage Musa Ibrahim

Musa Ibrahim, the first ever Bangladeshi to conquer the Mount Everest, did not get the honour, recognition, any grant or even an award from either the government or any private organisation for his outstanding achievement. The government is still a silent spectator. Why the government or any private organisation is not coming forward to encourage him is still a mystery to me. I have come to know that he is undertaking more challenging missions in future. He should be supported by the govt. and other agencies as well.

Containing population problem

Bangladesh has a population of over 160 million. The area of Bangladesh is too small for this vast population. As a result, we are facing many problems. The government should launch awareness raising programmes along with other measures to contain this problem which is the root cause of all other problems. The authorities should implement the plans of the government. People should be made aware of the gravity of the problem so that they will consider taking two children only. Proper education is the key to succeed in reducing the birth rate. Campaigns would be very effective in the villages and urban slums. The country will not develop in any sector unless population problem is contained.

Why hartal?

Bangladesh is a country with a lot of possibilities. But we cannot utilise these because of our leading political parties' bad practices. Political environment was never in a stable position in our country. One statistics shows that Bangladesh has suffered about three years of hartal in thirty-nine years.

A proposal to ease traffic jam

We are living in a city where there seems to be more vehicles than people. Apart from the private cars, which are fairly in good condition; taxi cabs, CNG auto-rickshaws, public buses (except for the BRTC buses) are in a dilapidated condition. These public transports, as I might put in my own words, 'have died a natural death many years ago.' But they are still plying the roads of Dhaka. I wonder why the government is not taking any steps to get these 'dead vehicles' off the road. May be the authorities concerned to check the fitness of these 'dead vehicles' are offered a good amount of bribe to keep their eyes closed. It seems like BRTA's motto is - “see no fitness, and a pocket full of richness!”

We are very upset

The government has completed its mission, eviction of Khaleda Zia, not caring about people's views, feelings, and likes or dislikes. The manner in which it was settled is very disquieting. It seems that the government does not care about the people.

Chariots of fire

Readers may well be familiar with the term "chariots of fire" fondly used by the famous French writer Dominique Lapierre in his novel "City of Joy." Dominique Lapierre used this term to describe the rickshaws of Kolkata.

Death of freedom fighters

Dewan Farid Gazi, Mir Shawkat Ali, and Lutful Hai died one after another recently. We are greatly shocked at these deaths in such a short time. It is said that the only permanent thing in this universe is 'change'. Death is one kind of change. Every death makes a vacuum. All the citizens of this independent country mourned the deaths of these freedom fighters. I express my condolence to the bereaved family members.

Police box on footpath!

People of Khilkhet area were shocked when they saw a real estate company named "Home Stone Limited" occupied the maximum portion of a footpath near the local police station and the foot overbridge. A police box was also built by occupying the footpath. This time, the footpath grabbers used the name of the police. Hundreds of students, office goers and local people of Nikunja-1 and Nikunja-2 are suffering every day. It will definitely tarnish the image of the whole police department.

Notice

Dear readers,

International

Cameron, Gates in Afghanistan, eye troops pullout in 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday that next year must show "irreversible" progress in the anti-Taliban war, expressing hope that British troops could start leaving Afghanistan in 2011.

Sarkozy condemns Islamabad on Mumbai attacks

French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned Pakistan yesterday for allowing extremists "safe havens" in its tribal border areas, as he paid tribute to the victims of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

China shows flexibility on issues of global cooperation

Climate negotiators hailed a brighter mood as global talks enter the home stretch yesterday, with China voicing flexibility on issues of global cooperation that have dogged past sessions.

Blast hits holy Indian city, 1 killed

A powerful explosion tore through a crowded religious place in the Hindu pilgrimage town of Varanasi, killing a young girl and injuring 24 people, including two foreigners.

Key points in latest WikiLeaks expose

Key points in the latest secret US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks:

Husband implicated in honeymoon killing

The husband of a woman murdered on her honeymoon in South Africa plotted his wife's death, one of the men charged with her killing has told prosecutors.

Int'l court may launch N Korea war crimes case

The International Criminal Court chief prosecutor on Monday launched an inquiry into whether North Korea should face war crimes charges over attacks on the rival South.

US diplomat in Myanmar for post-polls talks

A senior US diplomat arrived in Myanmar yesterday, officials said, for the first high-level talks with the government and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi since her release and a controversial election.

Japan probe nears Venus orbit

A Japanese probe reached Venus yesterday and prepared to enter orbit on a two-year mission that would mark a major milestone for Japan's space program and could shed light on the climate of Earth's mysterious neighbour.

Major WikiLeaks donor under pressure

A major WikiLeaks donor is in trouble in Germany for not filing its accounts on time, but authorities insisted yesterday this was unrelated to its ties to the under-fire whistle-blowing organisation.

Iran nuclear talks end

Six world powers wrapped up two days of "substantive" talks with Iran on its contentious nuclear programme here yesterday, with the two sides agreeing to meet again in Istanbul next month.

China hits back at criticism over N Korea

China yesterday hit back at the United States and its Asian allies for their refusal to talk to North Korea, saying dialogue was the only way to calm escalating tension on the divided Korean peninsula.

Allawi threatens to quit Iraqi govt

Iyad Allawi, who won the most votes in Iraq's elections, threatened to quit a power-sharing government in an interview with Britain's Times newspaper yesterday.

Nations 'rewriting climate plan'

The UN's former top climate official Yvo de Boer has accused developing countries, such as India and China, of trying to rewrite the Bali Action Plan.

Arts & Entertainment

Taking Bangladesh on top of Everest

As you step into La Galeri of Alliance Francaise de Dhaka in Dhanmondi, you might get a shiver. Temperature inside the gallery is significantly lower than the outside; several additional air-conditioners are running to keep it cooler.

Call for protecting historic sites

Mymensingh Municipality has organised a five-day programme at the local gymnasium. The programme, titled 'Preservation of Heritage Sites and Planned Urbanisation' includes discussions, exhibition of posters featuring historical buildings and cultural shows, and will wrap up on December 10.

Mira Nair’s answer to Islamophobia

Filmmaker Mira Nair is returning to India to shoot her next venture -- “The Reluctant Fundamentalist”, a film she says is her answer to 'Islamophobia' in the west.

How the post-war generation sees 1971

With the slogan “Muktijddher Chetona-e Bikoshito Hok Torun Pran”, a filmmaking competition and festival titled 'Torun Chokhey Ekattor' will begin on the last week of March 2011. Organised by Movievan Film Circle, the contest will feature films on the Liberation War made by young, emerging filmmakers.

Heritage Show-2010 in Gulshan

Bangladesh Arts Council is holding a three-day festival, titled 'Heritage Show-2010' at 12, North Gulshan Avenue in Dhaka. The festival will be held on December 9, 10 and 11. Sir Fazle Hasan Abed will inaugurate the festival.

OP-ED

Trimmed upazilas and bonsai democracy

A surefire way of making sure that democracy does not take root in Bangladesh is to take a big swipe at local government. And that is precisely what the Awami League-led administration appears to be bent on doing. In the name of bringing in amendments to the law relating to Upazila Parishads, it is actually busy trying to devise the ways and means by which it can strip the upazilas and indeed all forms of local government of their very essence.

Implications of Sarkozy's visit to India

In 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy visited India without his partner. This time from December 4-7, Sarkozy was accompanied by his wife, Carla Brunimuch to the Indian media's delight

Quality assurance in private universities

Teachers change lives. The change is qualitative and for betterment. Through such change teachers make people more productive. However, the responsibility of teachers is not limited to skill development only, but also extends to producing responsible, ethical citizens. The graduates provide leadership in accelerating economic, social, political and moral development. This implies that quality assurance of higher education is a function of the appropriate roles of professors.

QE demystified

International news headlines have recently been dominated by an action taken by the US Federal Reserve, its central bank, and cryptically known as QE -- short for quantitative easing. QE has many other names. The simplest and the most politically charged name for it is "printing money;" however, QE has a more exalted pedigree, and a more meaningful one since it owes its origin to the Japanese-language expression for "stimulatory monetary policy."

13 Wikileaks you have to read

IT'S vital to keep children abreast of current affairs, which was why I used the recent WikiLeaks affair as a bedtime story.



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