The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, November 28, 2014


News of: Monday, 14th of February, 2011

Front Page

SC reigns supreme

In the last two years the Supreme Court drew much attention for its role in ensuring justice in larger public interest on a wide range of issues.

Keep highways clear

The High Court yesterday ordered the police authorities to take immediate steps for removal of all shops, markets and bazars on the highways within 20 kilometres of the capital to ease traffic congestion and prevent road accidents.

Tigers stuck, fans too kept waiting

When thousands of fans queued up for opening ceremony tickets across Dhaka and while Shoaib Akhtar was speaking his heart out in Sheraton, the big news was of the national cricketers being stranded in Chittagong yesterday. That the World Cup has truly arrived was further reaffirmed when the England cricket team arrived to play two warm-up games.

Stock crash may hurt economy

The ongoing crisis in the sharemarket might affect other areas of the economy that faces the risk of high inflation and volatility in the forex market, economists have warned.

Ban fatwa, make it punishable offence

Fatwa has not yet been banned even after the High Court declared it illegal ten years ago in 2001, speakers told a roundtable titled "No more fatwa" yesterday.

Nurul Islam denies his role in tribunal

Nurul Islam Shishu, who was the principal staff officer to the chief martial law administrator(CMLA)in 1976, has denied any role in the military tribunal that passed execution order of Col Taher the same year.

Ship-breaking recognised as industry

The government yesterday took decision to place the ship breaking sector under the Ministry of Industries.

Language movement fund raised on Flag Day

The language movement gathered pace over the next few days.

Independence proclamation to be part of constitution

The historic proclamation of the independence in 1971, considered as the interim constitution of Bangladesh, will finally be made part of the country's supreme charter after nearly four decades.

Muggers shoot one dead

Muggers shot dead one person and injured another at the capital's Badda and Gandaria yesterday. They took away about Tk 36 lakh in total.

Parliament dissolved, constitution suspended

Egypt's new military regime dismantled ousted strongman Hosni Mubarak's former regime yesterday, dissolving parliament, suspending the constitution and promising a referendum on political reform.

Businesses offer help in price control

The business leaders have promised to provide all-out support to the government in keeping the prices of essentials within the commoners' reach.

Maternal mortality rate down

The maternal mortality ratio (MMR) has gone down to 194 per one lakh live births in the country in the last decade, a government survey shows.

BNP plans agitation outside Dhaka, Ctg

BNP will hold protest programmes in all parts of the country except Dhaka and Chittagong demanding solution to the present gas, water and electricity crisis.

Swiss to vote to cut down suicide rate

Switzerland, which has the highest rate of suicide by firearms in Europe, votes yesterday on whether to abolish its long-standing tradition of letting citizens keep army-issued weapons at home.

Festive look reflects first day of spring

The Amar Ekushey Boi Mela wore a festive look yesterday, on the occasion of Pahela Falgun as Bangalees dressed in every possible shade of yellow and poured into the fair premises.

Editorial

Two helpless girls

The two young daughters of a couple murdered in the city in March last year are suffering from an acute sense of insecurity. That is because the alleged killers of their parents, now out on bail, have been threatening to kill them if they mean to testify against them in court. As the young women, Bithi and Iti, would have us know, the fact that their parents' alleged killers are now free has compelled them to seek shelter away from their home every night. It is a situation that is deeply worrying not only for the women but for the rest of us as well and for some patent reasons.

ETPs mandatory for factories

Relentless dumping of untreated industrial wastes into the rivers and streams by the industries and factories continues unabated. The mindless act has already polluted many canals and rivers and also caused colossal losses to crop fields, resulting in gradual decimation of clean water bodies and fertile agro lands. It also exposes the population to serious health hazards.

Sports

Not two, only one ticket!

Latent irregularities marked the first day of selling the World Cup's opening ceremony tickets at various Dhaka Bank branches in the city yesterday.

Akhtar is hurting

In any standard discourse on Pakistan cricket, the topic that weighs equally as heavily as the talent of the team is the controversies that surround the players. Pakistan cricket has of late become so much entangled with controversies, that any press briefing would be incomplete and rather drab if it did not touch on the issue of controversy. So, when the media person in charge of conducting the meet started with: 'Please don't ask any questions on spot-fixing and captaincy', every one was thinking this would be another boring and forgettable affair.

England stand good chance

Captain Andrew Strauss believes England have a great chance of winning the World Cup even though his side are not among the perceived favourites of the tournament.

Kevin not retiring

Top England batsman Kevin Pietersen has dismissed reports that he will be retiring from one-day cricket after the World Cup in the sub-continent to prolong his Test and Twenty20 career.

Sakie to go to Mumbai

Some 61 Pepsi consumers on Saturday won tickets of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 through different competitions, organised by ICC's official sponsor Pepsi, at the Amazon Club in the city.

Rahmatganj's narrow win

A brace from Idris Kasirye helped Rahmatganj MFS edge visitors Chittagong Mohammedan 2-1 in a Grameenphone Bangladesh League match at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

Army reach hockey final

Bangladesh Army moved into the final of the Chowdhury Group Shaheed Smriti Hockey Tournament defeating Usha Krira Chakra 3-2 in their last group match at the Maulana Bhasani National Stadium yesterday.

Aus crash to Chawla spin

Piyush Chawla spun India to a remarkable 38-run win over defending champions Australia in a high-profile World Cup warm-up match on Sunday.

Biggies, but onlookers only

They are the unconquered frontiers of cricket -- giant nations with huge populations, but China and the United States can only look on from the sidelines as battle is joined at the World Cup.

PCB didn't appeal ban

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has dismissed reports that it had filed any appeal on behalf of banned Pakistani pacer Mohammad Aamer with the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Keeping Murali fresh

Sri Lanka coach Trevor Bayliss stressed the need for veteran off-spinner Muttiah Muralidaran to be fresh for Sri Lanka's World Cup bid.

Daniela ends title drought

Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia won her fourth WTA singles title Sunday with a crushing 6-0, 6-2 victory over Italy's Sara Errani at the Pattaya Open.

Paris Open Kvitova's

Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic continued her impressive season with victory over Belgium's Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters in the final of the Paris Open on Sunday.

Cause for optimism

As always, the Pakistan cricket team will be one of the more fascinating outfits during the World Cup. The 1992 World Cup winners always seem to have an intriguing subplot simmering underneath their words and actions. It is no different before the 2011 World Cup, with the team being ravaged by the spot-fixing controversy that saw them lose their Test captain Salman Butt, and star opening bowlers Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer.

Sachin longing for it

A billion hearts will beat for Sachin Tendulkar as he attempts to win the World Cup for India in his record-equalling sixth appearance in cricket's showpiece event.

'Pak worst prepared'

The current Pakistan cricket team has had the "worst" possible preparation for the World Cup but is still capable of lifting the trophy if it manages to stay united through the mega event, feels the country's 1992 World Cup winning captain Imran Khan.

Outsiders no strangers

Ireland's stunning defeat of Pakistan in 2007 and Kenya's run to the 2003 semifinals sent shockwaves through the World Cup.

Dirty Warne!

Australian spin great Shane Warne has reportedly slept with a London-based porn star and bombarded her with a series of raunchy text messages even while his romance with Hollywood beauty Elizabeth Hurley was blossoming, a report has claimed.

Srinath's tips to WC teams

Former India paceman Javagal Srinath on Sunday said that on sub-continental wickets, both spinners and pacers can flourish if they possess special skills and each side will have to play to its strength if it wants to lift the World Cup starting from February 19.

Smith calls for better pitches

South Africa skipper Graeme Smith has criticised the wicket prepared for their World Cup warm-up game against Zimbabwe and called for better tracks during the tournament.

Gijon end Barca run

League leaders Barcelona saw their record winning run come to an end with a shock 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon and it could have been worse had David Villa not scored a brilliant 79th-minute equaliser to salvage a point.

Van Persie keeps Gunners in hunt

Robin Van Persie struck twice as Arsenal moved within four points of Premier League leaders Manchester United following a comfortable 2-0 home victory over Wolves on Saturday.

Milan maul Parma

AC Milan bounced back to winning ways with a 4-0 thrashing of Parma at the San Siro on Saturday to maintain their grip on the Serie A leadership.

Bullish Bayern

Hot-shot Germany striker Mario Gomez hit his 17th league goal of the season on Saturday as defending Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich routed Hoffenheim 4-0 in the Bavarian capital to go third.

Bayern's Messi & Xavi

Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal insisted Saturday Holland's Arjen Robben and France's Franck Ribery are just as important to the German champions as Lionel Messi and Xavi are to Barcelona.

Another blow for Ballack

Injury-plagued former Germany captain Michael Ballack suffered another blow Sunday as he was sent to hospital for an MRI scan on his knee, his club Bayer Leverkusen said.

A gift for United fans

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has dedicated his sensational winner against Manchester City to his club's fans.

No-one will catch Milan

AC Milan striker Antonio Cassano scored his first goal for the club in the 4-0 thrashing of Parma and then claimed that no-one would catch the Serie A leaders if they keep playing this way.

Chance at hand for Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki's rivalry with Kim Clijsters will see the young Dane take back the world number one ranking from the US Open champion if she can manage a good run at the Dubai Open starting on Monday.

Business

$1b IMF loan risky

The Centre for Policy Dialogue yesterday warned the government about risks of borrowing

Stocks plunge to nine-month low

Stocks continued their nosedive for the fourth consecutive session as the key index hit a nine-month low yesterday.

Textile machinery sales rise

Textile and apparel machinery sellers look to Bangladesh as a lucrative business destination because of the country's stronghold in global readymade garment trade.

2 brokers under SEC scanner

The stockmarket regulator has formed two committees to probe aggressive sales by as many brokerage firms.

Obama seeks to cut deficit by $1.1 trillion

US President Barack Obama's proposed budget for fiscal 2012 will seek to cut the record federal deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next 10 years, White House budget director Jack Lew said on Sunday.

Mobile courts launch drive against 'hoarders'

Mobile courts in countrywide drives recently seized more than 12,000 litres of soybean oil and imprisoned a trader on hoarding charges, while slapping Tk 50,000 in fines for various offences under the consumer rights law.

Economic recovery fails to cheer up Turkey's jobless

Turkey's economy may have staged a spectacular recovery from the global crisis, but the man in the street sees little reason to celebrate as unemployment remains high and the government keeps the belt tight.

Canada Showcase set for Sunday

A daylong fair, Canada Showcase 2011, will be held on Sunday for the first time in Bangladesh, aimed at expanding bilateral trade.

EBL launches new Visa card

Eastern Bank Limited (EBL) yesterday launched limited edition Visa prepaid cards on the occasion of ICC cricket world cup this year.

StanChart gets new global head for Islamic banking

Wasim Akhtar Safi has been appointed as the global head of Islamic banking for its consumer banking business of Standard Chartered Bank, it said in a statement yesterday. His appointment has been effective from January 2011.

From waste to energy

Some villagers squatting around a sugar mill in Dinajpur are turning milling waste into an affordable fuel for domestic use. It helps locals save cooking fuel that can be used for at least three to four months a year.

When the hacker ethos meets capitalism

The uprising in Egypt has provoked the familiar “realism-versus-idealism” foreign policy debate in many Western capitals, as diplomats and politicians struggle to balance their ideological sympathy for the protesters against fears of chaos and the threat of a future anti-Western and anti-Israel policy from Cairo if the people do win.

India woos Muslim investors with new stock index

India's stock market has traditionally been dominated by Hindu investors but the country has taken a step towards financial inclusion with the creation of a new index compliant with Islamic law.

Time to go eco-savvy

Scientists have long rung the alarm bells about the mounting threats of climate change, and its corollaries, such as hurricanes, droughts, and vast land's disappearing into the sea. But, although it is frightening, it was not easy for many to see its foreseeable link with the daily activities that often seem to be insignificant. These are enormous forces beyond control. But possibly there is something to do about it.

Ecofont: print green

Have you heard of the eco-font? A Dutch company has launched a font that reduces ink use by up to 20 percent while printing, by creating tiny holes into the letters.

Egypt economy faces rocky road after protests

Egypt's military council faces a daunting challenge to stabilise the economy after 18 days of protests which may cut growth this year in half and have left regulators nervous about the reopening of its capital markets.

Rate rises and graft scandals threaten India growth

India is set for scorching growth this year but concern is mounting about its longer-term outlook, with the central bank seen hiking interest rates further and corruption scandals worrying investors.

Obama struggles to balance budget cuts, investment

US President Barack Obama unveils his fiscal 2012 budget Monday, an election year plan forged from conflicting needs to cut spending and stoke the economic recovery.

Mood of austerity triggers frantic EU clean-up

Brussels is attempting to switch into austerity mode in 2011, amid anger over EU funds that wind up in dog-fitness clubs and Elton John gigs.

Steel deal sets example for Japan Inc

The proposed merger of two Japanese steel giants is a sign of an industry looking to reassert itself and an example to Japan Inc. that restructuring is crucial to take on competition, say analysts.

Rio CEO targets iron ore as demand booms

Rio Tinto chief Tom Albanese on Sunday said Australian iron ore was the firm's top growth priority, with demand set to outstrip supply of the precious steelmaking metal until at least 2013.

EU, IMF 'regret' Greek furore over asset sale call

The EU, the IMF and the European Central Bank said Sunday they had the "deepest respect" for Greece's austerity efforts and that a furore over their demand for a huge asset sale was regrettable.

South Korea household debt rises in 2010

South Korea's household debt, a major economic risk factor, rose sharply last year, raising concerns about an increase in defaults, a private credit appraiser reported Sunday.

Deutsche Boerse set to releaese 2010 results

The German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse is to release 2010 results this week as it holds tie-up talks with NYSE Euronext in a bid to build the world's biggest exchange by revenues and profit.

Metropolitan

Bangladesh enjoying real democracy: Pyatt

The United States described present democracy in Bangladesh as “real democracy” and highly appreciated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's leadership in strengthening the democratic institutions.

$300m needed for safer Dhaka: JS body report

The government and the city dwellers should work together to save the remaining 20 percent of the wetland and water bodies in Dhaka City Corporation, suggests a parliamentary standing committee report.

Eight killed, 10 injured in road crashes

Eight people were killed and 10 others injured in separate road accidents in Gazipur, Naogaon, Manikganj, Munshiganj and Brahmanbaria on Saturday and yesterday.

Knowledge Corner

LIFE SCIENCE
We have physics, chemistry and several other fields of science to explain objects and forces existing around us. But what is that area where we must deal with ourselves and other living beings. Let us assume what kind of field of science this is.Yes, it is what we call life science.

Quit from power

BNP Secretary General Khandker Delwar Hossain yesterday asked the government to quit from power immediately and hold midterm election so as not to increase public suffering.

Zia, Ershad's regimes 'spoiled generations'

Awami League General Secretary Syed Ashraful Islam yesterday termed regimes of Ziaur Rahman and HM Ershad "spoiled generations".

Govt to launch anti-fatwa campaign

The government will take necessary steps to launch a massive campaign against fatwa (religious diktat) to prevent fatwa-related crimes, State Minister for Religious Affairs Shahjahan Miah told parliament yesterday.

Pohela Falgun celebrated

Pohela Falgun, heralding the arrival of spring, the king of all seasons, was welcomed by Dhaka residents as well as others in the country with flowers, poems, songs and dances yesterday.

HC summons 4 Moulvibazar arbitrators Feb 24

The High Court (HC) yesterday summoned four local arbitrators in Moulvibazar to appear before it on February 24 to explain their conduct of organising a fatwa against a local couple.

Amin Chairman denied bail

A Chittagong court yesterday rejected a bail prayer of Aminur Rahman alias Amin Chairman, a local BNP leader, who is prime accused of the 11-murder case of Banskhali in the port city and sent him to jail after hearing.

HC scraps proceedings

The High Court (HC) yesterday quashed the proceedings against Prime Minister's Energy Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury in the barge-mounted power plant corruption case.

Form guidelines to ensure rights of migrant workers

South Asian Migration Resource Network (SAMReN) yesterday urged South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) to formulate guidelines to protect rights of South Asian migrant workers and for their welfare.

Robbers loot five houses in city

Robbers looted cash and other belongings from five houses at South Begunbari in the city's Tejgaon industrial area leaving at least ten persons injured yesterday.

Case against Mosharraf discharged

A Dhaka court yesterday discharged Awami League leader and former housing and public works minister Engineer Mosharraf Hossain in connection with a graft case filed against him in August 2002.

Biraj wins WPP award

Andrew Biraj, the photojournalist for Reuters in Bangladesh, has won the most prestigious World Press Photo Award 2011.

Chinese visa office closed tomorrow

The Visa Office of the Chinese Embassy will remain closed tomorrow (Wednesday) in observation of Bangladesh religious holiday, said a press release.

Women for Women condemns Hena's death

Women for Women: A Research and Study Group yesterday condemned the death of Hena, who became a victim of fatwa (religious edict).

Sust's 20th anniversary celebrated

The 2Oth-founding anniversary of the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (Sust) was celebrated on its campus yesterday.

Books, sports items donated to students

YKK Bangladesh Pte Ltd distributed books and sports items among the poor students of Anowara Hashem Memorial High School at Kalihati of Tangail Yesterday, said a press release.

FoH organises eye camps

Foundation of Hope (FoH), a London-based charity geared to developing social services in Bangladesh, has organised two eye camps at the community level recently to reduce the incidence of preventable blindness in the country.

Appeal for help

Md Rashedul Hasan, an SSC examinee scheduled to appear this year, is fighting for life as both of his kidneys are damaged and needs immediate transplantation.

Reprinted constitution before JS body tomorrow

The law ministry will place the reprinted copy of the country's constitution to the parliamentary special committee on constitutional amendments tomorrow, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said.

Savar AL human chain foiled

Police yesterday foiled a human chain formed by a faction of Savar unit Awami League (AL) near Jatiya Press Club in the city demanding punishment to Savar Police Station officer-in-charge (OC).

Liver transplantation at a cost of Tk 35 lakh

Patients of liver and pancreatic diseases in Bangladesh would get necessary advice for liver treatment and its transplantation from Global Hospitals Teleconsult services.

DCC evicts makeshift structures

Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) evicted makeshift structures from the pavements along Airport Road and in Mirpur area in the capital yesterday, as part of the ongoing drive against illegal occupancy on the eve of World Cup Cricket 2011.

Mufti Izhar on fresh remand

A Dhaka court yesterday placed Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury, president of a faction of Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ), on a one-day fresh remand in a case filed for abducting homeopathic physician Azizur Rahman in September 2003.

ACC deputy director suspended

A deputy director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) was suspended, and a decision to suspend two more officials was taken yesterday, said a press release.

National

Sundarbans Day today

The Sundarban Academy and Khulna Press Club will jointly observe The Sundarbans Day in a befitting manner today in all coastal districts of Khulna and Barisal divisions.

UP chairmen unite to remove UNO

Chairmen of all the 11 union parishads (UP) under Birganj upazila of Dinajpur district yesterday started boycotting meetings of Upazila Parishad demanding removal of Birganj Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Hasan Maruf.

Int'l meet on solid waste management opens in Khulna

The three-day second international conference on 'Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries' began at Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (Kuet) yesterday.

Expulsion order withdrawn

The central BNP has withdrawn the expulsion order of six leaders of Moulvibazar district BNP.

Nipah kills one in Kushtia

Nipah virus killed a young man at Kushtia General Hospital yesterday morning, raising the death toll to 31 in the country.

Poultry culled in Gaibandha

Around a thousand poultry of a private farm were culled following detection of Avian Influenza at village Enayetpur under Sadullapur upazila Saturday night.

Youth jailed for harassing college girl

A mobile court here on Saturday morning sentenced a youth to one year imprisonment for sexually harassing a female college student.

Jatka seized, two held

At least 3,600 kgs of jatka (hilsha fry) were seized and two people arrested at Meghna Ghat in Sadar upazila yesterday morning. Acting on a tip-off, a police team raided the spot at Moju Chowdhury market and recovered the jatka from three trucks. Police arrested truck drivers Mohammad Kamruzzaman and Shahjahan while another managed to flee.

One held with venison

Police on Friday seized 10 kgs of venison and arrested a man in this connection at Chunkuri Kheyaghat in Dakope upazila. Police said, acting on secret information, a team led by SI Abdul Aziz conducted a drive in the area and arrested Mamun Sheikh,28, along with the venison and a deer horn at 1:00pm. His accomplice Asabur Sheikh managed to flee.

OMS rice recovered

At least 300 sacks of OMS rice and 175 empty sacks were recovered from a godown of a market in Golapganj upazila early Saturday. On secret information, Rab members conducted a drive in the godown of Surma Complex at Uttar Bazar and recovered the OMS rice and sacks. None was arrested in this connection.

Fake major arrested

A fake major was arrested from near General Hospital here yesterday. The arrestee was identified as Mohammad Monir Hossain Molla, 37, of Khuduria village in Nagarkanda upazila. On secret information, Rab members raided the area and held Monir at noon. A fake picture with army uniform of captain rank, one motorbike, one gold chain, two rings and four mobile phone sets were also recovered from his possession.

Letters

Please, do something

Recently, an extremely shocking news item in one of the daily newspapers traumatised me. According to the news, on 23 January, some hoodlums in Iswardi, Pabna killed an SSC examinee named Sorna Khatun (15) after gang raping her. A gang of 12 kidnapped the girl from her home at gun point in presence of her family members and forcibly raped her. Afterwards they broke her legs, gauged her eyes and hanged her body from a tree. I really don't understand why we cannot ensure social security for our women at all levels and why there is no effective initiative to vigorously counteract such incidents. Unless we ensure exemplary punishments for the beasts that commit such brutal crimes, we will never be able to build a safer society for our women. If I was the Prime Minister or the Home Minister of the country, I would personally go to the field, ensure quick arrest of each of those culprits and personally arrange a swift public trial to ensure that they are publicly executed after meticulous tortures. I think our law enforcers, public representatives, judiciary and our policy makers are responsible for the creation of a social context where such unspeakable violence against women can go unpunished. Such incidents have almost become an inevitable part of our social life and we seldom get to know if the criminals are eventually brought to justice. My sole message to the people who can do something is: “Please Do Something”.

Rosemary

Rosemary is a leafy evergreen shrub native to Mediterranean. It is also grown and available in other parts of the globe. Its scientific name is, “Rosmarinus officinalis” and related to mint family. Rosemary is popular as a spice for its aroma and used in cooking fish and meat. Rosemary has also a great therapeutic power. It has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.

Restrict supply of CNG to all cars

I would draw your kind attention to our Hon'ble Finance Minister's readings as published in The Daily Star on Dec 22, 2010 and also refer to The Daily Star's report of Jan 23, 2011 regarding briefing on the challenge of urban air quality and mobility management by the Delhi based Center for Science and Environment (CSE) along with Forum of Environmental Journalists of Bangladesh where they have mentioned that 70% of our city roads are filled with cars.

Proper implementation of labour laws

The article entitled “Treated Like Slaves” published on January 20th in your newspaper focused on the frequent accidents of workers at the ship breaking yards at Shitakunda due to negligence of labour laws.

Government's electoral pledges

Even if the ruling party tries to blame the results of the municipal elections on other factors such as rebel candidates, it is quite apparent from the result that the popularity of the party does really seem to be on the decline. The party which came to power with a landslide victory in the 2008 general elections is losing focus within 2 years of its tenure. There is a tendency within the members of the ruling party to simply ignore the “reading on the wall” and to be in a state of denial and come up with explanations that are sometimes irrational.

What an unfortunate nation we are!

From the news item published in The Daily Star on November 10, 2010, we had learned about the uncertainty gripping Ghorashal Power Project as communications minister was meddling with the tender process, every time PDB sought the cabinet purchase committee's approval, communications minister who is a member of the committee opposed it. The reason behind had been the minister's wish to give contract to a company of his choice which could not become the lowest bidder; Sacho was representing the Chinese company which failed to meet the required criteria.

Slavery in Bangladesh!

This matter of shackling and cruel confinement of poor helpless villagers by a brickfield owner was published in most dailies on 27th January and some even published the picture of the shackled victims. This is a shameful and shockingly unbelievable event far beyond the norms of a civilised society! It is a slap in the face of our struggle to take Bangladesh out of the grim stigma of poverty; which should be a matter of urgency and a national priority for us!

Re-designing the rickshaw

Today, I am nursing a bloody knee from a fall from a rickshaw but I suppose that two such falls in 11 1/2 years is not too bad. It reminded me of one of the saddest Bangladeshi stories - of a dedicated engineer and designer who came here and re-designed the rickshaw, made a prototype according to the science of ergonomics - but no one followed it up. How do you help people who do not want to be helped?

Population boom

Bangladesh is a densely populated country of 55598 square miles. It has a population of over 120 million. Every year more than 2 million people are being added to our population. The problem is now out of control. The country cannot afford to provide its people with the basic necessities of life. The most important thing is that the area of Bangladesh is too small to support her vast population. As a result, many problems like food shortage, lack of health care facilities, education problem, unemployment, shelter problem etc have gripped the country.

"Cholo Bangladesh"

World Cup Cricket 2011 is whispering in our ears. We are waiting for the Tigers' roar as our country will play at the World Cup Cricket 2011. Go ahead, Bangladesh. We are always with you. We are always praying for you.

Readers respond

Reaz Hassan
Agriculture is the backbone of our economy. But then, arable land is decreasing at an alarming rate and hence with all the inputs of better seed, cheaper fertiliser, and improved crop surveillance, we are likely to be a perennially food grain deficit country.

International

Bustling traffic returns to Cairo protest square

Traffic again flowed through much of Cairo's emblematic Tahrir Square yesterday as most protesters headed home following the nationwide revolt which brought down president Hosni Mubarak.

Yemen rocked by third day of protests

Hundreds of demonstrators have clashed with police in the Yemeni capital Sanaa yesterday, on the third day of anti-government protests.

The Autocrats in Trouble

The massive protests in Egypt which ousted President Hosni Mubarak mark an unprecedented moment in world history. The spirit of revolt seems to be catching other countries too. Here are few strongmen whose grips on power are getting weaker:

India to pull 10,000 troops from Kashmir

India plans to withdraw 10,000 paramilitary troops from Kashmir in 2011 and renew efforts to hold talks in the rebellion-hit Himalayan region, a top government official said yesterday.

Thai 'reds', 'yellow' rally on Bangkok

Thousands of Thais held colour-coded "red" and "yellow" protests in Bangkok yesterday, underlining persistent anti-government sentiment and deep political divisions ahead of an election planned this year.

Stampede in Nigeria kills 11

At least 11 people were trampled to death on Saturday in a stampede at an election campaign rally for Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in the southern oil city of Port Harcourt.

Iran appoints new atom chief

Iran has appointed nuclear scientist Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, who survived a bomb attack in November, as the country's new atomic chief, media reports said yesterday.

Italian police in Tunisia would block migrants: minister

Italy will make a formal request to Tunisia to deploy Italian police in the North African state to block a wave of immigration following recent unrest, Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said yesterday.

At least 30 killed in Mexican drug-related violence

At least 30 people died in a staggering surge in drug-related violent crime in Mexico rocking the cities of Monterrey and Guadalajara, and the northern state of Chihuahua, police said.

Car bomb injures 18 in Thai south: police

A car bomb exploded Sunday in a city in Thailand's insurgency-plagued far south, injuring 18 people, including four soldiers, police said.

Gantz appointed new Israel military chief

Israel's cabinet yesterday approved the appointment of Major General Benny Gantz as next chief of staff of the armed forces, ending months of infighting for the post among top generals.

Death toll rises to 48 in Iraq suicide bombing

The toll from a suicide bombing that targeted Shi'ite pilgrims near the city of Samarra, one of Iraq's worst in recent weeks, raised to 48 dead and 80 wounded, police and officials said yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Spring in the air

With the theme "Esho Praner Utshabey," members of Jatiyo Bashonto Udjapon Parishad ushered in Pahela Phalgun (the first day of spring in the Bengali calendar) with an elaborate cultural programme under the Bakul tree at Faculty of Fine Arts (FFA) premises yesterday.

Notes on a Conflicted Reality

On February 12, 2011, the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre in Dhaka organised a programme where the latest novel by Dr. Selina Hossain, “Jamuna Nadir Mushaira” was launched. The novel, on the life and works of the legendary poet, Mirza Ghalib, was launched by the High Commissioner of India to Bangladesh, Rajeet Mitter, at the cultural centre in Gulshan, Dhaka, according to a press release.

Valentine's Day Specials on TV

Tomalika Karmakar, Chandni, Farah Ruma and Sohana Saba are teaming up for the first time this Valentine's Day, to dance on a show celebrating the occasion. Tomalika will pair up with actor Russell; the duo will portray the legend of Laili-Majnu. The delightful frolic of Radha-Krishna will be enacted by Chandni and Anisul Islam Hiru. Farah Ruma and Shohag will portray the roles of Mumtaz-Shahjahan, while Shahed and Sohana Saba will be Romeo-Juliet.

Rabindra Theatre Fest by Prangane Mor Begins

To celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, a weeklong theatre festival featuring adaptations of Tagore's literary works, began at Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy on February 12. Organised by theatre troupe Prangane Mor, the festival features 13 plays by 12 groups, including four from India. On the opening day, Indian troupe Naye Natua staged its latest production “Nana Rongey Robi”.

Selling Love to the Loveless

Valentine's Day. Flowers everywhere. Card and gift shops are offering enticements products and the lounges are decked in red. Amid all this special attention to that special someone, being single can be a downer. If it helps, you are not the only lonely one out there and at least you aren't trading your desperation to find that 'Man' or 'Woman' for the ratings of one particular TV show. Yes, I'm talking about "The Bachelor/Bachelorette".

DS Café

Star Arts & Entertainment would like to apologise to its readers for not being able to hold the 'DS Café' session [as scheduled] yesterday as the celebrity guest Ayub Bachchu did not turn up.

OP-ED

Egyptians claim their stake

Anew Egypt has emerged after President Hosni Mubarak's ouster from power in the wake of 18 days of mass revolt. Tahrir square in Cairo, Egypt's capital, where hundreds of thousands of Cairenes gathered to voice their anger against widespread poverty, unemployment, corruption and misrule, which finally transformed into a single issue demanding Mubarak's resignation from office, kept the world glued to it since January 25 when the uprising broke out.

Egypt finds its destiny

Salahuddin Ayyubi, more familiar as Saladin, would have understood what was happening in Cairo 2011 perfectly. When, eight centuries ago, he set out from Damascus to recapture Jerusalem, he headed not towards any Crusader state dotted across the map of Arab Asia, but marched instead to Cairo to destroy the rotting regime that had infected Egypt with smug impotence. Saladin knew, and said, that an Arab victory was impossible without the mobilisation of the heart of the Arab world. The epicentre had shifted from Baghdad with the decay of the Abbasids, and there it lies still.

Challenging the autocrats

It was Ben Ali first, then Hosni Mubarak, who is next? This question is in the minds of all the freedom-desiring citizens of the world. Unchallenged autocrats are really being challenged by the suppressed, deprived, poor and suffering citizens, irrespective of religion, political ideology, age, sex and education or professional status. The only demand of those revolutionary people is a free and just society where citizens can enjoy freedom and better living standards.

Who moved my cheese?

Recently, I called on Finance Minister A.M.A. Muhith. I was amazed to see this over 75- year old "youngman" maintaining appointments in his digital diary. This is exactly what he meant in 2008, in a television interview, while talking on his party's election manifesto with reference to the party's commitment towards building a "Digital" Bangladesh. How far have we moved towards this goal? We don't have any definitive answer.

Dr. Ahmed Sharif: An ocean of wisdom

February 13 was the 90th birth anniversary of Dr. Ahmed Sharif, a researcher, teacher and renowned writer. We had gathered at his residence in 1999 to celebrate his birthday. Even though there was singing and recitation of poems our revered sir was very thoughtful. Someone proposed that we observe this day somewhere outside the resident of Dr. Ahmed Sharif, and everyone agreed. At this, Dr. Sharif said: "Surely you may celebrate the next birthday in grandeur, but at that time I may not be alive." His prophecy came true when he died 11 days later.



The Daily Star

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