The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, December 21, 2014


News of: Monday, 7th of February, 2011

Front Page

Police, post-mortem miss injury marks

Neither the police inquest nor the post-mortem found any injury marks on Hena's body though the national media quoting numerous witnesses reported she had been whipped to death following a fatwa at Chamta village of the district.

NO RESPITE for Turag

The Turag between Amin Bazar and Tongi bridge has shrunk so much that few boats ply the river during the dry season.

New cloud hovers over inflation pressure

It could not have happened at a worse time. After dollar remaining stable against taka for about four years (it hovered around Tk 69 a dollar), it has suddenly got stronger and is selling for above Tk 74. It has every potential to shake the economic stability.

Hartal eve sees 10 buses burnt

A handmade bomb exploded on Dhaka University campus and at least nine buses were set on fire in the capital on the eve of today's nationwide hartal enforced by the main opposition BNP, police say.

Rein back price spike right away

Leaders of the ruling Awami League-led grand alliance yesterday criticised the government for “failure” to contain price hike of essentials, and urged it to take immediate steps to reduce the prices of rice and other food items since those have gone beyond purchasing capacity of people.

Climate fallout to trigger migration

Bangladesh will face mounting challenge of resettling and rehabilitating the people displaced by climate change, says an Asian Development Bank study.

Army acted like land-grabbers

The attempt to purchase land by force for an army housing scheme at Rupganj in Narayanganj is a violation of people's constitutional right to life and livelihood, said rights activists and environmentalists at a press conference yesterday.

Share price fall sparks protest

Hundreds of angry investors took to the streets in the financial district of Motijheel once again to protest a slump in share prices yesterday.

Tannery owners not helpful

Hazaribagh tannery owners' responses are not at all conducive to implementing the High Court verdict that ordered their factories to be relocated, State Minister for Environment Hasan Mahmud told the House yesterday.

Bigots foil Ahmadiyya convention

In the wake of protests from religious bigots, Gazipur district administration yesterday prevented the 87th annual convention of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat slapping section-144 in and around the venue.

HC orders Sitakunda blast probe

The High Court yesterday directed the Chittagong Port authority to investigate the explosion that killed four workers at a ship-breaking yard in Sitakunda on January 18.

HC rallies for rivers

The High Court yesterday issued a suo moto rule upon the government directing it to submit a report on whether the lower court's injunction against eviction of structures from the Buriganga river has violated a Supreme Court judgement.

Babar influenced probe report

Former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar forced a probe body not to mention NSI officials' involvement in smuggling and offloading arms in the arms haul case probe report, said former home secretary Omar Faruk before a Chittagong court yesterday.

Get Bangla in Arabic script

The death of Mohammad Ali Jinnah in September 1948 pushed Pakistan squarely up against a set of new conditions. A fundamental reason behind that was that Jinnah had combined in himself the powers of governor general, president of the constituent assembly and president of the ruling Muslim League. His successor Khwaja Nazimuddin could not lay claim to such unbridled authority. Besides, there was Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, who was already making it known that power was now his to wield. As for Nazimuddin, he showed not the slightest trace of taking Pakistan to a new direction, but he did make it clear that under him Pakistan would remain firmly on the course its founder had set for it. That included the late founder's position on the language question.

List of war criminals soon

The government will soon publish a list of war criminals or collaborators, who worked against the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, said State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Capt (retd) AB Tajul Islam yesterday.

Osman lands in jail

Former Awami League lawmaker AKM Shamim Osman, who was sentenced to jail for 11 years in two graft cases, was sent to jail yesterday after he surrendered before a Narayanganj court.

Domestic Help Torture

The High Court yesterday summoned the officer-in-charge (OC) of Lalpur Police Station in Natore to explain what action he had taken against Captain Shafiqul Islam and his wife for allegedly torturing a nine-year-old child.

Graft charges pressed against Eskandar

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) yesterday pressed charges against Maj (retd) Sayeed Eskandar, brother of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in a case filed for amassing wealth illegally and concealing information in his wealth statement.

New writers too excited

Jewel Ahsan Qamrul has flown all the way to Dhaka from Japan to be at the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela. He was very excited to be part of the carnival and also to have his first book published for the fair.

Editorial

Hartal should have been withdrawn

A withdrawal of the hartal called for today by the BNP, now that the government has stepped back from its plans for an airport at Arial Beel, would have paid the party good dividends. That Begum Zia and her colleagues have refused to do away with the hartal is regrettable. Of course, there is the general feeling that all the cases registered by the authorities in connection with the recent agitation in Arial Beel must be withdrawn if conditions are to return to normal. The BNP would have done better if it had served warning on the authorities on the need to ensure security for the inhabitants of Arial Beel by a quashing of the cases filed against 21,000 people. For the party to now say that the hartal will be underway unless the cases are withdrawn and unless the crises in the areas of gas, electricity and water are resolved is really to shift the goal posts.

Physicians' aversion to remote areas

The Prime Minister has echoed the concern of all by adding her own voice to it over doctors' unwillingness to serve in the rural areas. If that be the case who is going to attend to the poor in the villages and remote areas? The mindset of some of the doctors has been taken to such a ludicrous level that not to speak of shunning the villages, many of them even avoid going to remote towns and district headquarters.

Sports

Tamim down a diverse track

When he bashed India in the 2007 World Cup, commentators were all over the shop with his daredevil shot-making and the phrase 'dancing down the track' was synonymous with Tamim Iqbal's batting. But these days, while the bravado has stayed, the left-hander has added the full arc of shots to his game.

Opening ceremony tickets from Feb 10

Tickets for the opening ceremony of the World Cup will be sold from February 10 in ten booths of Dhaka Bank in the capital, confirmed the Bangladesh Cricket Board chief.

We need something special: Jamie

Jamie Siddons feels that Bangladesh need to do something extraordinary to get out of the group stages of the World Cup.

Shakib champions Think Wise

Bangladesh cricket captain and Think Wise Champion Shakib Al Hasan said it becomes his duty to inform the youth about the horrors of HIV and AIDs and to make others informed about the human rights the afflicted people are entitled to.

Rahmatganj, Brothers win away

Rahmatganj MFS and Brothers Union won their away matches of the Grameenphone Bangladesh League beating respective rivals at different venues yesterday.

Sachin sledged once

Sachin Tendulkar said that he too sledged, but only once. "I have never sledged per se merely for the sake of sledging. I did that only once as a part of team strategy. This was at the Kenya Champions Trophy. We were playing Australia." Tendulkar describes how he irked McGrath with a cheeky line. “The first thing I said to him was 'Today I will hit you out of the ground.' He got really angry and started spraying the ball around.”

Aus annihilate Eng

Australia wrapped up an emphatic 6-1 series win over a weary England with a comprehensive 57-run win in the seventh and final one-day international at the WACA Ground in Perth on Sunday.

Siddikur gallops to title

Siddikur Rahman completed a remarkable wire-

SL sweep series

Ajantha Mendis and Thisara Perera shared seven wickets as Sri Lanka posted a 26-run win over the West Indies in the third one-day international on Sunday to clinch the series 2-0.

Butt, Aamer to appeal

Salman Butt and Mohammad Aamer returned to Pakistan on Sunday and pledged to clear their names of corruption charges that earned them bans of at least five years each from an International Cricket Council (ICC) tribunal.

Greats lament banned trio

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram admitted that the lengthy bans handed out to Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer for corruption on Saturday represented a new low for the besieged sport in the country.

Mini World Cup begins

Mirpur Bangla School and College beat Scholastica in the opening match of

Usha win big

Usha Krira Chakra made a positive start in the Chow-dhury Group Shaheed Smriti Hockey tournament with a 2-1 win over Bangladesh Navy at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Seeds go unabated

All the seeded players continued their winning streak in the second round of the Sony National Tennis Tournament 2011 at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday. In the men's singles, Mamun Khandakar beat Hira Lal 6-3, 6-3, Delwar Hossain outplayed Abu Sayed Salmani 6-1, 6-2, Henry Prithul Mondal defeated Asmot Ullah 6-1, 6-1, Mufazzal Hossain crushed Nurul Islam 7-5, 6-4, Munir Hossain overpowered Boshir Gazi 6-1, 7-5, Anwar Hossain defeated Shohan 6-2, 6-2, Mohiuddin Sabuz crushed Sree Ashit 6-3, 6-2, Dipu Lal beat Sajib Passy 6-2, 6-4, Rustam Ali overpowered Milon Hossain 6-1, 6-3, Ranjan Ram beat Omor Faruk 6-2, 6-4, Jamil Bhuiyan beat Mamun Bapari 6-1, 6-3 and Biplob Ram overwhelmed Salim 7-6, 6-4 to earn berths in the pre-quarterfinals.

KKSP into Club Cup semifinal

KKSP made it into the semifinal of the inter-district Club Cup cricket tournament at the Mymen-singh Stadium yesterday.

MU beaten as Magpies rain on Gunners

Manchester United crashed to their first defeat of the season in a shock 2-1 loss at bottom club Wolves on Saturday after a day of drama and record goal-scoring across the Premier League.

Bayern left bleeding

Bayern Munich's title aspirations suffered a major blow on Saturday as relegation-threatened Cologne hit back from 2-0 down to inflict a 3-2 defeat on the defending champions.

Kubica in horror crash

Formula One star Robert Kubica has been seriously injured in a crash while heading to the start of the Ronde di Andora rally in Liguria, Italy, the ANSA news agency reported on Sunday.

Hypnotic Messi fires Barcelona

Lionel Messi hit a hat-trick as Barcelona made history on Saturday by winning a record 16th successive Spanish League match to beat the previous best of Alfredo Di Stefano's 1960-1961 Real Madrid.

Natale reaches century of goals

Alessandro Matri returned to haunt his former club Cagliari on Saturday when he scored twice in Juventus's 3-1 win.

Mueller disgusted with loss

Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller said on Sunday that Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund have nothing to fear from the defending champions after his team's shock 3-2 defeat at strugglers Cologne.

Business

State companies face listing warning

In a strong warning, Finance Minister AMA Muhith has said heads of state enterprises will be shown the door if they fail to offload shares on the stockmarket by the 'next'

38 projects to lose fund from foreign aid

The government will cut financing from foreign aid in its 38 projects including the much-talked Padma Bridge by 12-100 percent, as the agencies concerned may fail to reach the spending target.

Muhith: Energy crisis is Achilles' heel for Bangladesh

Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday likened the energy situation to Achilles' heel and said he is tired of speaking about the crisis, a deadly weakness of the country.

HC upholds freeze on Unipay2u accounts

The High Court yesterday upheld a lower court order that directed Bangladesh Bank to freeze 110 bank accounts of Unipay2u, a so-called multilevel marketing company.

GMG increases flights from Ctg to Kolkata

Private carrier GMG Airlines has increased flight frequencies on Chittagong-Kolkata route recently, GMG said in a statement yesterday.

Demutualisation crucial to stockmarket

The government will implement demutualisation or separation of management of bourses from their shareholders within its tenure to infuse dynamism into the stockmarket, said Finance Minister AMA Muhith yesterday.

Saarc chamber rejects proposal to tighten business visa

The leadership of Saarc Chamber of Commerce and Industry has unanimously adopted a resolution rejecting a proposal to cut the Saarc business visa period from one year to three months.

Genzyme, Sanofi boards meet to clinch $20b deal

Sanofi-Aventis SA is close to clinching a deal worth around $20 billion to buy Genzyme Corp, nearly nine months after the French drugmaker first put the idea to the U.S. biotech group.

Are you financially ready for a food crisis?

By now, you have probably seen the headlines about runaway food inflation and the challenges that the authorities are facing in bringing prices down. This is not just an issue in India.

What's the worst that could happen?

Oil industry experts believe major Gulf oil nations have enough cash and military support to avoid Egypt-style civil uprisings, which emerged as the key fear factor for volatile oil markets.

Egypt's financial system faces a moment of truth

Egypt's financial system faces a moment of truth. The country didn't have an economic crisis before the past ten days of protests began. But its banks and stock exchange have been closed for a week. When they reopen, starting on Sunday, the fear is that the political turmoil could prompt a financial meltdown.

Eye on the finish line

Job seekers now have to be more serious in designing a solid career map. Today's volatile employment market has necessitated the need to pursue a career based on personal aspirations and physical and mental capabilities.

A positive attitude does the trick

Everyone strives to be successful at his or her working life. They want to discover the secret of success. However, a career expert suggests that only a positive attitude can lead to desired success.

Brazil and China: A young marriage on the rocks

At least once a week during her young presidency, Dilma Rousseff has met with trusted advisers to try to solve an intractable problem -- China.

Higher food prices here to stay

From McDonald's burgers in the United States to sugar in Bolivia and chilis in Indonesia, food prices across the globe are soaring.

Drive to unify euro economy as rescue roadmap set

Germany and France launched a radical drive Friday to unify the debt-ridden eurozone economy, as eurozone leaders set out their roadmap towards finalising permanent rescue resources.

India faces unemployment bomb

Last week 100,000 jobseekers travelled to a small northern Indian town for a recruitment fair that ended in tragedy, revealing much about the limitations of the country's economic boom.

Dubai Aerospace cancels Boeing orders

US aerospace giant Boeing said Friday that Dubai aircraft leasing firm Dubai Aerospace Enterprise canceled an order for 32 of its best-selling single-aisle 737 aircraft.

Corporate Briefs

PHP FIRST MUTUAL FUND
On the close of operation on February 3, the fund reported net asset value of Tk 9.79 per unit on current market price and Tk 10.24 per unit on cost price against face value of Tk 10. Total net assets stood at Tk 1,957,177,149.17 on market price and Tk 2,048,063,318.34 on cost price after considering all assets and liabilities.

New DMD for City Bank

Mashrur Arefin has recently been appointed as deputy managing director and chief operations officer of City Bank, the bank said in a statement yesterday.

Mitsubishi expands production at US plant

Japanese automaker Mitsubishi announced plans Friday to expand production at its US plant as it looks to bolster sales in the region.

Citi to call the tune on EMI future

British music label EMI, home to a galaxy of stars including The Beatles, Coldplay and US pop starlet Katy Perry, faces an uncertain future after Citigroup seized control from its private equity owners.

British oil firm Regal backs improved Energees offer

British oil explorer Regal Petroleum said it had backed an improved cash offer from Energees Investments, a bid vehicle controlled by Ukrainian conglomerate Smart Holding.

Metropolitan

A few AL poll pledges fulfilled

Though Awami League (AL) in its election manifesto promised to bring changes, a few initiatives have been taken in this regard under this government, said some eminent citizens at a discussion yesterday.

Six sand traders fined Tk 14.6 lakh, one held

Government authorities during a drive against earth filling of Turag River yesterday fined six sand traders, arresting one of them, and removed a huge amount of sand dumped beyond the river foreshore on the eastern bank of Gabtoli area.

Cut army officer-soldier gap

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the officers of Bangladesh Army to take all necessary measures to reduce the existing gap in their relations with soldiers.

2 centres get separate question sets

Two examination centres under Dhaka Education Board received separate question sets on the third day of Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and equivalent examinations yesterday.

Two give depositions against 27

Two witnesses, including plaintiff Subedar Ismail Hossain, yesterday gave depositions against 27 mutineers and were later cross-examined by them before the Special Court-11 at the Darbar Hall in Pilkhana.

Road crashes kill 14

Fourteen people were killed and 14 others injured in road accidents in Bagerhat, Naogaon, Chittagong, Brahmanbaria and Kushtia on Saturday night and yesterday.

HC stays ACC's recruitment

The High Court yesterday stayed the process for recruiting 80 assistant directors and deputy assistant directors to the Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) for a month.

Increase 'economic diplomacy'

President Zillur Rahman emphasised on increasing 'economic diplomacy' alongside attracting more foreign investment in the country with a view to achieving the goals of 'Vision-2021'.

Dhaka to place 'position paper' on Feb 25

Bangladesh will place its 'position paper' regarding its maritime claim in the Bay of Bengal to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in New York on February 25.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star report headlined “Govt looks to AL left-outs”.

Charges against five Jamaat men adjourned till March 14

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed March 14 for framing charges against five Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, including its Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami, in a case filed against them for hurting religious sentiment of Muslims.

HC scraps case against Selim

The High Court yesterday quashed all proceedings against Awami League leader Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim in a corruption case filed by Anti Corruption Commission (ACC).

4 alleged killers of Shahidullah arrested

Police arrested four alleged killers of Mohammad Shahidullah, a trader of Rampura area, who were produced before a press conference held at Rampura Police Station yesterday afternoon in the city.

Court appoints defence lawyers for Bashundhara chairman's son

A Dhaka court on Thursday appointed two state defence lawyers to move the Humayun Kabir Sabbir murder case on behalf of Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan Shah Alam's son Shafiat Sobhan Sanvir, and his security guards in their absence.

Security blanket before World Cup Cricket: DMP

Police will carry out special operation in the city to build up general security blanket before the World Cup Cricket, to be inaugurated here on February 17.

Talks begin to form South Asian Forum

Foreign secretaries of the eight South Asian countries yesterday began discussion on setting up of a South Asia Forum.

SC adjourns hearing on appeal of Tarique

The Supreme Court yesterday adjourned till today the hearing on an appeal filed by BNP leader Tarique Rahman against a High Court verdict over filing a money laundering case against him.

Feast of Saint Anthony celebrated

The feast of Saint Anthony was celebrated at Nagori Church in Kaliganj on Friday, says a press release.

Today's US visa interviews Feb14

Immigration and diversity visa applicants of the US embassy's consular section who may fail to attend their scheduled visa interviews today due to hartal should come on February 14 at 8:00am, says a press release.f

Zafar Iqbal gets death threat

Noted academician Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, chairman of Computer and Engineering department of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology, received a death threat through SMS on mobile phone.

Fire at city RMG factory

A fire gutted over hundred swing machines and huge amount of clothes at a garment factory in the city's Rampura last night.

Dipu pledges safe return of Jahan Moni hostages

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday assured the family members of Bangladeshi sailors, who kept hostage in Somalia since the hijacking of MV Jahan Moni on December 5 last year, about safe and secure return of the sailors.

Two more prosecutors for war crimes trial

The government yesterday appointed two prosecutors for conducting cases relating to war crimes on behalf of the state in the international crimes tribunal.

Hashem's case adjourned till Feb 20

A Dhaka court yesterday deferred the hearing on charge framing against former BNP lawmaker and Partex Group Chairman MA Hashem till February 20 in connection with a tax evasion case.

Muggers stab man to death

A gang of muggers stabbed a man to death and injured two others in South Keraniganj yesterday.

Youth held with five cocktails

Police arrested a youth with five cocktails in the city's Uttar Badda yesterday.

National

Charges framed against 147 in Satkhira, Mymensingh

Special courts in Satkhira and Mymensingh yesterday framed charges against 147 members of BDR, renamed as BGB, in the mutiny cases of 2009.

Verdict in case against 13 Mar 1

The Special Court-13 will deliver judgement in the mutiny case against 13 jawans of BGB Dinajpur sector on March 1.

BCL paralyses Ruet, Comilla University

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists yesterday locked the gates of all dormitories of Rajshahi University of Engineering and Technology (Ruet), besieged the administrative building and took out a procession on the campus demanding removal of the vice chancellor.

Mob set fire to houses of 2 Khulna 'robbers'

An angry mob at Bastuhara Colony in Khalishpur of Khulna city on Saturday evening set fire to the houses and shops of two alleged members of the gang who committed robbery at a Grameenphone dealer's office on Shaltala Road in Bagerhat town on Thursday night.

Gang leader of Jamalpur bank robbery held

Police arrested a gang leader on charge of looting about Tk 45 lakh of Uttara Bank of Jamalpur branch in the wee hours of February 3 from Satkhira.

Home minister visits Felani's family

Home Minister advocate Sahara Khatun yesterday visited the house of Felani's father Nurul Islam Nuru at Colonitari village under Nageswari upazila of the district.

Temple ransacked, caretakers beaten up in Tangail

Criminals ransacked a Hindu temple in Tangail while burglars took away cash, jewellery and other valuables from another temple in Kishoreganj on Saturday night.

16 forced to work at brick kiln freed

A mobile court has fined a brick kiln in Baufal upazila Tk 25,000 for using firewood violating rule.

Train's guard punches passenger for fare

Passenger of a Dinajpur-bound train lost a tooth as the guard punched him on the face following a quarrel over the train fare at Parbatipur railway station on Saturday night.

Death of schoolgirl triggers protest

Death of a schoolgirl yesterday triggered protest by students and locals in Sujanagar upazila.

Salinity damages seedlings of irri, boro paddy

Paddy plants grown in seedbeds are gradually withering under the adverse impact of climate change and lack of necessary irrigation facilities in Aila affected Dakope upazila of Khulna district.

Brac staff found dead

Police recovered the body of a Brac employee from the roadside near Fishery Gate in Sadar upazila on Friday morning.

Letters

Decentralisation -a must

By decentralising Dhaka metropolis, at least two major problems of the nation would be solved: a) administrative powers to the UZ and UC; and b) reduce congestion.

Good luck Tigers!

Bangladesh cricket team for the upcoming world cup seems to be a balanced one, although there are mixed opinions and agitations for not including the best pacer of the country Mashrafe Bin Mortaza. There is no denying the fact that Mashrafe is an asset for the team, but one must be fit to play.

Safer rickshaws wanted

May I echo Sikander Ahmed's request for the need of a newly-designed rickshaw to be on the streets? Like millions, I love the rickshaw - not only its convenience and cheapness but the encouragement of a means of earning a living in a way that does not pollute the environment and responds to so many needs.

Making the capital market vibrant again

Please do not close the bourse again and again because of panic that gripped the whole capital market due to sudden slide in the prices of all shares in general. This unnecessary closure of the bourse will have a very negative impact on the stock markets both in Dhaka and Chittagong. Hence, please keep the capital market get going as usual in order to bring back confidence and tolerance among the investors. As we all know that this is a very usual practice in the capital market that market will have ups and downs but that does not necessarily force SEC to stop trading hoping that this will keep the slide at bay.

Import 'sweeping trucks'

The picture with which my mail appeared in these columns on Friday January 14, 2011, took me back to my school days in the 1970's learning about the invention of shoe, most probably a satire, by the world famous poet of the sub-continent. Cleaning a place with broom sticks apparently cleans that particular area or place, but it has a serious adverse impact on the environment and surroundings. I would never have learned about it, had I not have the privilege of living in Houston.

Don't free them on bail

Living outside the country we are unable to guess the actual situation of law and order in Bangladesh. Our sources of information are generally the print media and some friends who are there. From print media we have learned that the situation is worse than before while some friends say that the situation has improved. We don't know who are correct.

It all depends on the parents!

Everyone brings out the fault lines between the old generation and the new. Every generation is nostalgic about the innocence and purity of its past because it cannot cope with the demands of the changing times. Concepts, like individuals, have their histories and are just as incapable of withstanding the ravages of time as are individuals. But in and through all this they retain a kind of homesickness for the scenes of their childhood. Hors d'oeuvres have always a pathetic interest for me; they remind me of one's childhood that one goes through wondering what the next course is going to be like - and during the rest of the menu one wishes one had eaten more of the hors d'oeuvres.

Mumtaj Begum denied Ekushey Padak

M. Emad's letter published on January 23rd is a shame on our authorities. In this case the minister turned down the proposal for awarding the 'Ekushey Padak' to Mumtaj Begum; only because he never heard of her! This confirms the opinion, that without 'Tadbir' with accompanying ' the usual sweets' or 'Nazrana or crisp currency notes' nothing gets done! The 'Nazrana' has real power to crystallize even fiction into fact! No 'Nazrana'; see no good, hear no good, and do no good; that is the fact.

Keep watch on the Spa centres

Nowadays, 'Spa' is a frequently used word among the health conscious people and beauty sensitive ladies. But what does the word 'spa' means? Well, roughly it is, as I would define “Jol Chikitsha Babostha” (a method of treatment by water) or a “health through water' system. The word 'Spa' is derived from the name of a Belgium town “Spa” meaning 'sprinkles or moistens'.

School buses should stay

Recently the government has launched 14 new buses for the use of school going children only. This initiative has been warmly greeted by the students and guardians. This bus service is cheap, safe and to some extent, reliable. It surely has a good prospect if utilised properly.

Peter's mission

Two years ago, I wrote a novel "After the Road Accident" where I tried to depict the suffering and struggle of a victim of road accident in our country. So far, I had strong confidence upon my novel. But today after seeing Peter Donnelly and listening to his adventurous plan, all my thoughts began to change. Peter is going to make a history. Being a wheelchair user, he has decided to cross five thousand miles to reach his motherland UK. Can you imagine it? In fact, I have read many adventurous stories but never saw any adventurous hero. I also feel proud to think that Peter is going to start his journey from my country.

East Timor, Sudan and Kashmir

No one doubts the outcome of the referendum in southern Sudan. The voters are sure to vote for secession. Some years ago, a similar event occurred in Indonesia which had to cede a part of its territory, Eastern Timor, to become an independent state in a manner identical with the excision of Sudan's south as it also had a large Christian population.

No change in fare!

The government has increased the meter fare of the CNG driven auto rickshaws. But still the drivers are behaving in the same way as before. They are demanding extra fare to go anywhere or they are going on contract basis. This is very irritating.

International

Egypt opposition rejects government reform offer

Opponents of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's embattled regime yesterday dismissed as insufficient an offer to include them in political reform plans and renewed their demand that he step down.

Deal signed to supply Iran fuel to Afghanistan

Iran said yesterday it has reached an agreement with Afghanistan to supply it with Iranian fuel and that it has started delivering the products to the neighbour's private sector.

Arab revolts bad news for Al-Qaeda: experts

If the popular revolts that have rocked Tunisia and Egypt gain momentum and spread across the Middle East, they could strike a catastrophic blow to Al-Qaeda's violent ideology, experts say.

Embattled Australia hit by wildfires

Wildfires destroyed homes and flooding claimed the life of a man in embattled Australia yesterday, as officials warned that last week's monster cyclone would compound economic woes.

Bhutan set for India, Pakistan meeting

The top diplomats of India and Pakistan are due to meet yesterday in Bhutan in the first high-level meeting between the two rival countries since July.

Police fire kills two in Tunisia

At least two people were killed and 17 others wounded in northern Tunisia on Saturday when police opened fire to quell a protest after a senior police officer slapped a woman in the face, official and media sources said.

Thai, Cambodian clashes resume at disputed border

Fighting erupted yesterday between soldiers along Cambodia's disputed border with Thailand near an 11th century temple for a third day, shattering a shaky cease-fire.

South Sudan mulls new capital for new nation

South Sudan is considering moving its capital to a new site, as the region gears up for expected full independence in July, the information minister said yesterday.

US welcomes Brotherhood talks with caution

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton cautiously welcomed yesterday the Muslim Brotherhood's involvement in political dialogue in Egypt, saying Washington would "wait and see" how talks develop.

Iran begins trial on US 'spies'

The much-delayed trial of three young Americans accused of spying against Iran opened yesterday, more than 18 months after they were arrested on the unmarked border with Iraq while on a hiking trip.

Cape Verde vote in parliamentary elections

Cape Verdeans began voting yesterday in parliamentary elections across the archipelago of sandy beaches and arid volcanic rock, which is lauded as one of Africa's success stories.

Religious clash in Indonesia kills six

More than 1,000 Indonesian Muslims clashed yesterday with supporters of a minority sect branded heretical by the government, leaving up to six people dead, a report said.

India detains 52 in pirate ship capture

The Indian navy and coastguard captured a suspected pirate "mothership" and detained more than 50 people after a firefight yesterday off southwestern India, the defence ministry said.

ElBaradei shut out of Egypt talks

Leading Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei said he was "not invited" to take part in negotiations yesterday on the future of a post-Mubarak Egypt, and criticized the talks as "opaque."

Main Irish opposition party to lead new government

Ireland's main Fine Gael opposition party is on course to lead the country's new government after the February 25 general election and has increased its lead, according to an opinion poll yesterday.

Philippines 'seriously concerned' over rebel split

The chief Philippine government negotiator said yesterday he was "seriously concerned" after a feared rebel commander broke from the main Islamic separatist group ahead of peace talks.

Explosion kills five at Romanian mine

An explosion ripped through a coal mine in western Romania, killing five miners at a depth of some 400 metres (1,000 ft) below ground, authorities said late on Saturday.

Israeli woman pleads guilty to leaking army secrets

A Tel Aviv court yesterday convicted a young Israeli woman of leaking classified military documents, but dropped espionage charges as part of a plea-bargain agreement, media reports said.

Arts & Entertainment

Bold and Opulent Canvas

Mohammad Eunus is one of the leading painters from the '70s, when the nation was caught up in the freedom movement. At the time, the country faced many crises and crossed a number of dilemmas -- a time when our art, literature proceeded with a new vision and novel ideas and themes. Eunus closely observed the changing socio-political and economic conditions of the country.

Across the Nation

Jointly organised by The Daily Star and Bangladesh Patha Natak Parishad, the nationwide street theatre festival ended in the port city last Saturday.

Showcasing Bangladeshi Culture

The 10th World Cup Cricket is all set to kick off on February 17. As a member of the group of countries eligible to play test cricket, Bangladesh has the rare opportunity to host the opening ceremony. India and Sri Lanka are also co-hosting the event. Sports channel ESPN will air the inaugural programme live from Bangabandhu Stadium, Dhaka. The first match between the two hosts Bangladesh and India will be held on February 19.

Tribute to Bob Marley

Born on February 6, 1945, son of a white English-Jamaican father and Afro-Jamaican mother, Nesta Robert 'Bob' Marley spent his entire life facing questions about his racial identity. Growing up as a ghetto child in the heart of Kingston and because of his beliefs in Rastafarianism, Marley identified himself as a black African. His identity crisis reflected in his songs that later became anthems in the third world nations. The 1979 album “Survival” clearly encompasses his Afro-centric political ideologies.

Kailash Kher's Playback for a Bangladeshi Film

Popular Indian Sufi Pop-Rock artiste Kailash Kher is set to give voice to a song for a Bangladeshi film. Kailash will sing "Jotoi Thakish Upor Tolae Gorey Takar Pahar", to be featured in Ananya Mamun's movie "Most Welcome". The song has been written by Bangladeshi lyricist Jahid Akbar.

OP-ED

Let Shariatpur tragedy be enough

The death of 14-year-old Hena of Chamta village in Shariatpur district after she was forced to suffer arbitrary punishment at the hands of self-styled adjudicators is a glaring instance of how vulnerable women still are in our society. The victim girl, who was still in her dreamy adolescent years, could not perhaps imagine in her worst nightmare how heartless and barbaric some of the elders among whom she had been growing up could become -- not at least until the fateful night when she was raped by one of her relatives in his forties.

The collapse of a lie

Nothing, goes the maxim, clears the head faster than the sight of a noose. This is true for ordinary mortals like you and me. Despots intoxicated by the hallucination of indispensability are either puzzled or terrified by the notion that power is finite. Their cronies have always told them otherwise. Their palaces have insulated them from the street. The international order did business without the whisper of a question. Why bother?

In defense of survey methodology

The recent tiff between the Supreme Court (SC) of Bangladesh and Transparency International, Bangladesh (TIB) is a watershed event for all professionals who conduct surveys and the organisations that use them to guide important decisions. In the business world, surveys often guide major strategic decisions. And the use of surveys for political opinion polling is ubiquitous.

Bureaucracy for the people

In this sub-continent, elitism in bureaucracy was introduced by the British in order to cement their hold on the colonial people. They needed a subservient, compliant group who would look after the interest of the colonial masters and collect taxes from the subjects for the benefit of the Raj. Hence came the ICS with all their perks and privileges.



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