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Monday, September 15, 2014


News of: Wednesday, 26th of January, 2011

Front Page

Stock probe underway

The government yesterday formed a three-member committee headed by Krishi Bank Chairman Khondkar Ibrahim Khaled to probe the massive ups and downs in the stockmarket in the last two years.

President spurs MPs

President Zillur Rahman has called upon all members of parliament to make significant contribution to the development and progress of the nation through active participation in the House proceedings.

unipay2u sued for corruption

The Anti-Corruption Commission yesterday filed a case against the chairman and the managing director of unipay2u Bangladesh, a so-called multilevel marketing company, for amassing money by cheating people.

Air travel gets costlier

Biman Bangladesh Airlines has increased fares on 19 international routes to recover its losses and meet the additional cost due to rising fuel price.

Brutality beats the beast

A student of class eight, who became pregnant after she was raped by her 35-year-old neighbour in Comilla sadar, was set on fire by him in a bid to deny his paternity.

Sanvir faces trial

A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam's son Shafiat Sobhan Sanvir, and four others in connection with the July 2006 murder of Humayun Kabir Sabbir, a director of the company.

Suspension of 6 brokerage houses valid

The High Court yesterday upheld the Securities and Exchange Commission's decision to suspend six brokerage firms' trading for a month.

Of market for happiness

An aura of fragrance envelops the heart of the capital at Shahbagh when the city is in deep sleep as a small community of 500 people wake up every night to trade in flowers.

AL faces strong challenge in Habiganj-1

The ruling Awami League is likely to face a strong challenge from Jatiya Party in Habiganj-1 by-election tomorrow.

Prestige battle for AL, BNP in B'baria

Dozens of high-profile leaders of two major political parties arrived in the urban town of Brahmanbaria in their efforts to secure victory for their respective party-nominated candidates in the by-polls scheduled tomorrow.

UAE detains 70 Bangladeshis for going on strike

Around 70 Bangladeshi workers of Arabtec, a leading construction company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), were detained by the police yesterday in connection with going on strike for over a week.

Khulna Medical College shut after BCL factions clash

Khulna Medical College (KMC) was declared closed for an indefinite period following a clash between two factions of Chhatra League, student wing of the ruling party, over establishing supremacy on the campus yesterday.

MP's aide plunders 50 trees

A personal assistant of a ruling party lawmaker felled and looted more than 50 trees of LGED on Baishari-Bisharkandi roadsides at Iluhar union of Banaripara upazila in Barisal.

HRW slates extra-judicial killings in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh government has not yet stopped torture and extra-judicial killings and there is no end of systematic human rights abuses, said an international human rights watchdog yesterday.

Beggar-free city before WC

The sub-committee on World Cup cricket security yesterday suggested the government declare February 17 public holiday in the capital for smooth holding of the cricket tournament at the Bangabandhu National Stadium.

6 officials summoned

The High Court yesterday summoned six government high officials, including three secretaries, in connection with a contempt of court petition.

Ctg steel mill fined for air pollution

The Department of Environment (DoE) yesterday fined a steel mill in Chittagong Tk 10 lakh and suspended its environment clearance certificate for emitting toxic gas.

Obama, Republicans spar on jobs before

President Barack Obama yesterday faces a US public hungry for jobs, and Republicans eager to oust him, when he delivers his yearly "State of the Union" speech in a tense new era of power-sharing.

It's theatre time for celebration

Bijoy-er Natya Utsab, a weeklong theatre festival to celebrate the 40th anniversary of independence, began at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy yesterday.

Editorial

A probe committee at last

We welcome the formation of a committee to probe the stock exchange manipulation that rocked the capital market and by extension the financial market as well. The choice of the chair is commendable as a man with expertise and professionalism is going to lead the investigation team.

Jatiya Sangsad goes into session

The Jatiya Sangsad went into its first session of this year yesterday. We as well as all citizens across the country would truly have been happy if the opposition BNP had chosen to end its boycott of the House and returned to it. Despite the fact that the lawmakers of the party were absent yesterday and have so far given no indication of when they mean to go back to the law-making body, it is still our expectation that they will, in the larger interest of their constituents and democracy, reconsider the boycott and resume their participation in the JS. Of course, it is taken for granted that the BNP lawmakers will make it a point to go to the House if only to preserve their membership of the body. Rather than being exposed as having been compelled by circumstances to return to the JS, the BNP should not only appear to be seen to be in the House but actually be seen there as a matter of conviction. We feel that it is its sacred responsibility to go beyond partisan considerations and indeed involve itself in the business of parliament -- through staying in the House.

Sports

Dollar bankrupts Sky Blues

In the best all-round display this season, Dollar Mahmud muscled high-flying Abahani into submission in Bangladesh Biman's one-wicket victory in the Premier Division Super League yesterday.

Sania brings luck for Malik

Sania Mirza, the most recognised tennis player of the subcontinent and a heartthrob of millions of youth around the world, is in town.

Sk Jamal back winning

Farashganj SC struck the post twice and also scored an own goal to allow Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club to return to winning ways in the Grameenphone Bangladesh League after suffering a 2-0 defeat to the star-studded side at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

'India win was great'

The dependable Syed Rasel did a fantastic job with the new-ball,partnering Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. He talks to The Daily Star Sport about his 2007 World Cup experience.

Opening ceremony tickets from early Feb

Tickets for the World Cup's opening ceremony are likely to be available in the first week of next month.

Willes start with a win

Willes Little Flower School made a fine start in the opening match of the Standard Chartered Young Tigers National School cricket tournament yesterday. They defeated Badda High School at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium by a big margin of 117 runs.

Club Cup cricket

Chittagong Brothers Union and Natore's Gani Flower Mills won their respective matches yesterday in the 2nd inter-district Club Cup Cricket Championship.

2nd two-day game drawn

The second two-day match between Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Under-15 and Bangladesh Under-15 ended in a draw yesterday at the Chinsurah Western Ground in Kolkata.

Caroline, Li in last four

Top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki overcame a slow start to beat French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 Tuesday and advancing to a semifinal against China's Li Na of the Australian Open.

Federer, Djokovic set semi clash

Roger Federer edged closer to a showdown with Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 win over Stanislas Wawrinka on Tuesday in an all-Swiss quarterfinal.

Akram all praise for Kirsten

Gary Kirsten's low-profile coaching approach has been instrumental in Indian cricket team's success in recent years and it will be a big loss for the team when he quits after the World Cup, former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram said on Tuesday.

Swann ruled out

England are confident spinner Graeme Swann will be fit for next month's World Cup, despite being ruled out Tuesday of the rest of the Australian tour with a back injury.

Tennis players start well in Myanmar

Bangladesh's young tennis players made a good start at the Under-14 Asian Tennis Championship 2011 in Myanmar. Delowar Hossain of Bangladesh moved to the second round beating top-seed Tran Min Thong of Vietnam 6-3, 6-0 while

Change the Game with Pepsi

PepsiCo, one of the global sponsors of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, are embarking on a campaign titled 'Change the Game' for cricket fans around the country to have an opportunity of witnessing the World Cup matches from the stands.

Blues thrash Bolton

Didier Drogba, Florent Malouda, Nicolas Anelka and Ramires were all on target as Chelsea ended their miserable run of away form with a 4-0 victory at Bolton here on Monday to keep alive their dim hopes of the Premier League title.

Argentina leave out regulars

Striker Carlos Tevez was among several leading Argentine internationals left out of the squad named on Monday for their friendly against Portugal in Geneva next month.

Van Bommel Milan's

Bayern Munich captain Mark van Bommel has joined Serie A leaders AC Milan after losing his starting place with the German champions this season, the clubs said on Tuesday.

Casillas joins fight against poverty

Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas signed up to a UN drive against poverty on Monday, joining five other sports stars as a goodwill ambassador for the UN Development Programme (UNDP).

AFC helps flood victims

All ticket revenue from the Asian Cup semifinals on Tuesday will be donated to help flood victims in Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand, organisers said.

Top three get byes

The top three finishers at the Asian Cup in Qatar will automatically qualify for the 2015 edition in Australia, the Asian Football Confederation confirmed on Tuesday.

Babel move back on

Dutch international striker Ryan Babel's on-off move to Bundesliga side Hoffenheim from English Premier League giants Liverpool was back on track on Monday as he was due to fly to Germany to finalise personal terms.

Behrami joins Fiorentina

Swiss international winger Valon Behrami signed for Serie A side Fiorentina from English Premier League strugglers West Ham on Monday for a fee reported to be 5million euros.

The bat is mightier than the pen

His father was a poet, so is his elder brother, but Sachin Tendulkar feels that he is born only to wield the willow and not the pen.

Business

Stocks perk up, value runs low

Stock trading on the twin bourses resumed yesterday and reversed the downtrend after nearly 75 percent of the traded stocks clocked their highest intra-day gain on the board. But the value was low, as there were few sellers.

Banglabandha trade on hold

Trading through Banglabandha and Phulbari land ports remained suspended for a second day yesterday due to a labour strike at the Indian port in Phulbari.

Retail investors rise from shock

Retail investors are gradually shaking off their worries, banking on hopes that the government would be supportive in bringing back stability and preventing volatility in the stockmarket.

Hike in furnace oil prices irks garment leaders

Apparel exporters yesterday expressed concerns over a sudden rise in furnace oil prices, saying the hike would push up production costs and cut competitiveness of local products.

Gates, Buffet plan to visit India

Bill Gates, one of the world's richest men and one of its best known philanthropists, said on Monday he hopes his passion for giving will soon start to take hold among the super-rich of China and India.

Minister pushes carriers for better services

The country's air travel market growth will get a boost if the local carriers' fleet and services are strengthened, said the civil aviation minister yesterday.

DCCI seeks swift steps from stock regulator

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) yesterday urged the regulatory bodies to control artificially-inflated share prices at any cost to bring back investors' confidence in the capital market.

Ericsson sales boosted by mobile broadband

Sweden's mobile network giant Ericsson said Tuesday it booked increased sales and sharply boosted its net profit thanks to mobile broadband sales, although earnings slightly missed expectations.

India hikes rates again to combat inflation

India on Tuesday hiked interest rates to their highest level since early 2008, joining South Korea and Thailand in increasing borrowing costs this month, amid mounting concern about inflation across Asia.

Pragati launches new health care plan

Pragati Insurance Ltd has launched its new range of health care insurance plans with reinsurance and technical support from ICICI Lombard GIC Ltd of India, said a statement.

Deadline for essay competition extended

Dhaka University Economics Department Alumni Association (DUEDAA) has extended the deadline for its essay competition to February 28.

Cloud computing on the horizon

Bangladesh can become a thriving market for 'cloud computing' in the next five years, mainly driven by an upcoming need of e-education for school students in the rural areas, said a top representative of global hi-tech giant Huawei recently.

Buyers' take on apparel

'But a smooth supply of gas and power is a must for sustainability in the industrial sector. Political sustainability is also important'

Hopes build on no-duty access

State-owned Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) started issuing the generalised system of preferences (GSP) certificates to garment exporters on January 1. This certificate would give them a zero-duty entry to Eurozone.

IMF sees faster economic growth

The International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday the global economic recovery was gaining traction but warned that it was "still at risk" because of eurozone debt and a lack of financial reform.

Resurgent GM nips at Toyota's heels in sales race

General Motors has a shot at being No. 1 again.

Sesa sees strong volumes in Q4

Indian iron ore exporter Sesa Goa expects to sell higher volumes of iron ore in the March quarter on strong demand from local and overseas steel firms and higher output in its home state of Goa.

China, India hit by regulatory overkill

Rising economic giants China and India are caught in a web of strangling red tape where even getting a tourist visa is difficult, a survey of foreign business executives showed Tuesday.

Dubai port business jumps 14pc

DP World said Tuesday business rose 14 percent last year, reflecting the expansion of the Dubai port operator's global network and a resurgence in trade as the world economy picks up steam.

Oil down in Asian market

Oil prices fell in Asian trade Tuesday in the wake of OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia saying the cartel may boost crude output in tandem with a projected demand increase this year.

Volvo unveils China HQ

Volvo on Tuesday opened a new China headquarters in Shanghai as it seeks to expand its market share in the country following Chinese group Geely's purchase of the Swedish carmaker last year.

Asian shares mixed

Asian shares were mixed Tuesday with Sydney lifted by better-than-expected inflation data, but Shanghai and Hong Kong stuck in the doldrums and Mumbai dipping after a rate hike.

Correction

In a report "Credit cards popular, but still largely untapped" published in Star Business on January 24 , it was inadvertently mentioned that the number of credit cards by The City Bank stood at 40,000. The correct number is 92,000, including Amex and Visa credit cards. City Bank is the second biggest player after Standard Chartered Bank

Metropolitan

Move on to buy hydropower from Myanmar

Bangladesh has initiated a dialogue with a Myanmarese company to buy hydropower from Rakhaine State of the neighbouring country.

Removal of CHT land body chief demanded

Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samiti (PCJSS) yesterday demanded immediate removal of Chittagong Hill Tracts Land Commission Chairman Khademul Islam Chowdhury accusing him of acting against the peace accord.

10 projects of Tk 6,653cr okayed

The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) yesterday approved 10 development projects involving Tk 6,653 crore, including one to develop infrastructure in municipalities (pourashavas) at a cost of Tk 1,151 crore from the government fund.

ACI files case against over 300

Owners of ACI Pharmaceuticals Ltd filed a case yesterday against 300 to 400 people for ransacking and looting the factory and beating its officials at Siddhirganj in Narayanganj.

Many leave schools for mistreatment: Study

Many children are also excluded from schools for sitting on back benches, wearing dirty clothes and not being among the top tier in their classes, says a study.

Dhaka-Colombo talks today

The first-ever foreign secretary level consultation between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will be held here today.

Seven engineers, BTCL inspector sent to jail

A Dhaka court yesterday sent seven engineers and an inspector of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) to jail in connection with two cases filed on charges of misappropriating around Tk 8 crore.

Strengthen local govt: Moriarty

The US Ambassador James F Moriarty said the people of Bangladesh are being benefited with strengthening of the local government. The US is also with Bangladesh with this move, he added

11 killed, 36 injured in road crashes

Eleven people, including an Egyptian, were killed and 36 others injured in separate road accidents in Rangpur, Mymensingh, Rajshahi and Dinajpur on Monday and yesterday.

Stay order on Jhalakathi polls upheld

The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday upheld a High Court (HC) verdict that declared illegal the schedule of the Jhalakathi municipality election slated for January 27.

5 physicians suspended for their absence in workplaces

Five physicians have been suspended for their absence in workplaces without prior permission.

68 auto drivers, owners punished

Four mobile courts penalised 68 unruly drivers and owners of CNG-run autorickshaws in the city yesterday, as they did not comply with the new rate of fare.

4 Hizbut men arrested in Rajshahi

Rapid Action Battalion arrested four members of Islamist outfit Hizbut Tawhid at Talaimari in Rajshahi city Monday night.

'Enrol more Bangladeshis at US varsities'

Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University AAMS Arefin Siddique yesterday requested US President Barak Obama's Science Envoy Dr Rita R Colwell to take steps to enrol more Bangladeshi students at different US universities.

Cops among 15 hurt in clash with Hijbut men

At least 15 people, including two cops, were injured in a two-hour long clash with Islamist militant group Hijbut Tawhid at Uzirpur upazila town yesterday evening.

6 SUST students in trouble for ragging fresher

Six students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) are served with a show cause notice yesterday for their involvement in ragging a fresher on last Monday.

Stolen cables, drugs recovered

Police arrested nine people and recovered stolen electric cables, Yaba tablets, and Phensedyl during three separate drives here in the wee hours of yesterday.

Tk 7.15 lakh fined for selling water illegally

A mobile court initiated by BSTI Monday fined Tk 7.15 lakh to 18 business houses and two persons in and around the city for illegal production and marketing of water.

Vivekananda's birthday today

The 149th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda will be observed today, says a press release.

Swarna's killing: Probe demanded

Bangladesh Mahila Parishad yesterday demanded fair investigation into the killing of Swarna Khatun, a SSC examinee from Ishwardi in Pabna.

Readers respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Monday's Daily Star report headlined 'Govt actions draw doubts'.

Correction

In a report published Tuesday (January 25, 2011) in The Daily Star under the headline “US to hand over killers of Bangabandhu”, US Ambassador James F Moriarty was quoted as saying that killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman hiding in the United States would be handed over to Bangladesh after law is enacted.

National

Grabbers eye land of Hindus in Patuakhali

A few local influential people are allegedly grabbing land of four Hindu families at Pangshia village under Dumki upazila.

Medicine traders stop sale, stage protest

Medicine traders in areas around Dinajpur Medical College and Hospital (DJMCH) yesterday stopped selling medicine in protest against opening of two medicine outlets inside the hospital building.

Madan, Madaripur go to polls tomorrow

Twenty out of 21 polling centres in Madaripur municipality and seven of nine polling centres in Madan municipality of Netrakona district have been declared vulnerable to violence during elections scheduled for tomorrow.

Habiganj BNP men get interim bail

A BNP-backed candidate and 67 leaders and activists of BNP on Monday were granted ad-interim bail by the High Court in three cases filed in connection with January 19 clash with police at Nabiganj municipality of Habiganj.

Youth held for bid to kidnap girl

A youth was held while trying to kidnap a schoolgirl in Kishoreganj yesterday.

Bring killers of Swarna to book

Teachers and students of Bansher Badha High School in Ishwardi upazila yesterday formed a human chain at Pabna-Pakshey road demanding exemplary punishment to the killers of Swarna Khatun, an SSC examinee from the school.

Two kids 'commit' suicide

Two kids allegedly committed suicide in Satkhira and Gazipur districts yesterday and the day before.

Evildoers stab protester

Criminals stabbed an SSC examinee at Ramchandrapur village under Atghoria upazila on Monday night.

International

Hezbollah-backed Mikati appointed Lebanon PM

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman issued a decree yesterday appointing Hezbollah-backed candidate Najib Mikati as prime minister-designate pending the formation of a new government.

Yellow Shirts stage new Thai protest

Around 2,000 nationalist Thai 'Yellow Shirts' rallied in Bangkok yesterday to demonstrate against the government's handling of a border territory dispute with neighbouring Cambodia.

Karzai to open Afghan House amid dispute

President Hamid Karzai will open Afghanistan's new parliament this week under international pressure, but he has resisted MPs' demands to abolish a special tribunal set up to probe claims of election fraud.

India closes Kashmir to block BJP rally

Authorities in India yesterday blocked all road links between Kashmir and neighbouring states to prevent Hindu nationalists from holding a rally in the sensitive region.

Russia probes Caucasus link

President Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday that clear breaches in security had allowed a suspected female suicide bomber linked to Russia's Northern Caucasus to slaughter 35 people at Moscow's main airport.

Major cabinet shake-up as army speaks out

Tunisia prepared for a major cabinet shake-up on Monday as the head of the army warned thousands of anti-government protesters in the centre of Tunis that a "power vacuum" could lead to a dictatorship.

Israel's Livni proposed transfer of Arabs

Israeli negotiators proposed the transfer of a number of Arab Israelis into a Palestinian state, a suggestion firmly rejected by Palestinian officials, leaked documents showed yesterday.

Egypt braces for nationwide protests

Egypt braced for a day of nationwide anti-government protests yesterday, with organisers counting on the Tunisian uprising to inspire crowds to mobilise for political and economic reforms.

Nepal tries to break political deadlock

Nepal's parliament yesterday approved a change in the rules for electing a new leader in an effort to break a deadlock that has left the country without a government for almost seven months.

Philippines bus blast kills four

A bomb on a packed bus in the Philippines' financial hub killed four people on Tuesday, sparking a warning from President Benigno Aquino that the country faced a raised terror threat.

Palestine slams US stance on settlements

Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath slammed a US stance opposing Palestinian efforts calling for a UN Security Council resolution to halt Israeli settlement construction.

Albanian PM praises army for averting 'coup'

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha yesterday congratulated the army for defending government institutions and foiling a "coup d'etat" during a violent opposition protest that left three dead last week.

Russia warned of airport attack

Russian security services had received warnings that an attack was planned at a Moscow airport, reports said Monday.

Israel condemns 'long-standing bias' of Ireland

Israel yesterday condemned Ireland's "long-standing biased policy on the Middle East," after Dublin upgraded the status of the Palestinian diplomatic delegation to a mission.

Peru recognises Palestine as "free and sovereign" state

Peru recognised a "free and sovereign" Palestinian state, joining a recent wave of Latin American countries.

France signs deal to sell four warships to Russia

France has signed a deal to sell four Mistral warships to Russia, including two to be built in Russia, President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said yesterday.

UN study proposes Somalia pirate court

Somali pirates are expanding their attacks and costing the world more than $7 billion a year, according to a UN study released Monday that calls for stepped up security and a pirate court.

US backs Ivorian cocoa, coffee embargo

The United States threw its support Monday behind a ban on Ivorian cocoa and coffee exports ordered by the internationally-recognized winner of Ivory Coast's election, Alassane Ouattara.

Bolivians protesting high prices turn to looting

Demonstrations over high food prices took a violent turn as protestors started looting in a southwestern Bolivia town, according to police and media reports.

Arts & Entertainment

David de Souza: The philosophical photographer

Viewers may well expect the most unexpected from David de Souza's photography which invokes surprise and wonder at best and utter disbelief at worst. His solo exhibition titled “Dreams” was inaugurated on January 23 at Drik Gallery 1. The photographs on display are some of the most experimental and interesting of the works featured in the exhibitions of Chobi Mela VI.

Kids’ Zone

In an unusual endeavour to introduce children of rural schools and madrassahs to global forms of entertainment, the local chapter of Children's Film Society (CFS) launched the fourth International Film Festival in Rajshahi on Saturday.

Raga-based Melodies at Praner Khela

Raga-based Bangla songs of yesteryears were the highlight of this month's "Praner Khela", a regular musical programme arranged by Bengal Foundation. The latest instalment of the soiree was held on January 23 at the Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts, Dhanmondi in Dhaka.

New landmark

Tareque Masud and Catherine Masud's new film "Runway" completed another screening session as part of its countrywide district-level release, this time at the Islamic University in Kushtia. The film, which screened daily from January 23-25 drew full house audiences to the University's main 1,250-seated auditorium. "Runway" was shown together with "Naroshundor", a short fiction by the Masuds set in 1971, and "Unison", a short animation on religious harmony.

Income tax officials target Bollywood stars

The homes and offices of two Bollywood actresses have been raided by India's income tax officials in Mumbai, officials said.

The Daily Star-BGTF Theatre Festival

Second Day (January 26); Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. Plays will start at 6:30pm.

Lux-Channel i Superstar 2010

Mahbuba Islam Rakhi has wrested the title of Lux Channel i Superstar 2010, against stiff competition from thousands of girls. She was awarded a brand new Mitsubishi Lancer, a role in an upcoming film, and a scholarship to study acting. The first and second runners up received cash prizes of Taka 3 lakh and Taka 1 lakh respectively. The awards were conferred on them by the Chairman of Unilever and Faridur Reza Sagar, Managing Director of Channel i.

OP-ED

A message ... loud and clear

Make no mistake about it. The municipal elections were a plain drubbing for the ruling Awami League and for all the right reasons. There would hardly be any point for the government and for the leadership of the Awami League to go searching for scapegoats to hold responsible for the debacle. It is the people who have spoken, for they are the best judge of where the country is going and what ought to be done about it. In these past two years, they have observed little of the change the Awami League promised in the run-up to the general elections of December 2008.

Price volatility and food crises

Must history always repeat itself? We are indeed on the verge of what could turn out to be another major food crisis. The FAO Food Price Index at the end of 2010 returned to its highest level. Drought in Russia and the export restrictions adopted by the government, together with lower crop harvests than expected, first in the United States and Europe, then in Australia and Argentina, have triggered a process of soaring agricultural commodity prices in international markets.

Let capital market run on its own

The Bangladesh capital market has again seen an upsetting scenario that is very similar to the one in 1996. As it was recovering from that trough, it again dropped into the pit. Angry investors were seen protesting on the streets on December 20, 2010, when there was the most dramatic fall in the stock market in its 55-year history. The DSE General Index dropped by 551 points, or 6.72%. Again, on January 20, 2011, the index fell within 5 minutes of the trading operations in the two bourses by 600 points. And the panic deepened.

Burden of neutrality

A few years ago while I was visiting Dhaka I called a circumspect columnist, who until about a year ago was the advisor-editor of a vernacular news daily, whose columns I used to enjoy reading for his balanced analyses. However, in his criticisms of the two supreme leaders of the country, it was obvious that he was quite soft on one and very harsh on the other.



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