The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Wednesday, April 23, 2014


News of: Monday, 14th of March, 2011

Front Page

Japan toll to exceed 10,000 in one state

The death toll in Japan's earthquake and tsunami will likely exceed 10,000 in one state alone, an official said yesterday, as millions of survivors were left without drinking water, electricity and proper food along the pulverized northeastern coast.

An SOS to world

As more than 12,000 Bangladeshi migrant workers, fleeing Libya, languish in a desert camp in subhuman conditions, aid workers here warn that repatriation of these desperate people could take months unless drastic international steps are taken.

Power-grab seditious

The parliamentary special committee on constitutional amendment yesterday decided in principle to include a clause in the country's supreme charter with a provision for stringent punishment for extra-constitutional takeover of state power and suspension of the constitution.

Listen to 80 lakh owners

The government should heed the calls of 80 lakh Grameen Bank shareholders and let a democratic process determine how the organisation will be run, eminent economist Rehman Sobhan said yesterday.

BNP may join JS today

The BNP-led opposition may join parliament today ending its boycott for over two months.

Tigers' Dutch test today

With half the equation out of their control, Bangladesh are expected to do their bit against minnows Netherlands in their fifth Group B game of the ICC Cricket World Cup in a day game at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium here today.

AL won't back candidates in UP polls

Ruling Awami League decided not to back candidates in the upcoming union parishad elections responding to an Election Commission call to keep the UP polls free from partisan politics.

Yunus is a political victim

Lord Avebury, vice-chair of the UK Parliamentary Human Rights Group, has said the removal of Grameen founder Prof Muhammad Yunus by the government from his post raises serious concerns about the creeping politicisation of development work and civil society in Bangladesh.

Dipu Moni visits camps in Egypt

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday visited the Bangladeshis who fled the Libyan unrest and are stranded in temporary camps at the border point of Al Salloum in Egypt.

Equipment from India arrives

Two ships carrying eight heavy equipment for the proposed Palatana Power Plant in Indian state of Tripura have arrived at Ashuganj River Port from Kolkata.

Grass, vines saved his life

Bangladeshi worker Liton had to eat grass and shrubs to stay alive in Libya.

Bhutto wanted to share power with AL

On March 14, Pakistan People's Party Chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto added fuel to the fire by demanding that power be transferred to the Awami League in East Pakistan and to the PPP in West Pakistan since, in his view, there were two majority parties in the country. Addressing a public meeting at Nishtar Park in Karachi, he asked how democratic principles could be applicable to a country divided into two distant parts. He said that he advocated one Pakistan, but for the rule of the majority to apply over the whole country, the Awami League would have to drop its Six Point plan first. Bhutto denied that his party had placed any preconditions before it would agree to join the National Assembly. He said that the PPP had only wanted assurances from the Awami League that its views would also be heard when the assembly was finally convened. He noted that he was prepared to visit Dhaka for talks with Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Bangladesh ready to send rescuers: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said Bangladesh has already prepared a rescue team along with a medical wing to send to Japan for expediting the rescue operation.

ACC gets two commissioners

The government has appointed a former bureaucrat and a retired judge to the Anti-Corruption Commission as commissioners through a "non-transparent procedure".

115 more cases to be dropped

The government yesterday decided to withdraw 115 more 'politically motivated' cases filed against upazila and ward level ruling party leaders.

Dipu Moni visits camps on border

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni yesterday saw off the first batch of stranded Bangladeshis who were leaving Alexandria by the first repatriation flight of Bangladesh Biman.

HC rule on 11 accused on bail

A High Court bench yesterday issued a suo moto rule asking 11 accused in a case filed for killing Natore's Boraigram upazila chairman Sanaullah Noor Babu to explain within two weeks why their bail should not be cancelled.

Girl kills herself

A teenage girl allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in the city's Manikdi under Cantonment on Saturday night, after being scolded by her father.

Pirates shoot at fishermen, loot trawlers

Pirates looted five fishing trawlers, nets and hilsa worth Tk 60 lakh and fired shots at fishermen injuring six early yesterday on the river Meghna in Hatiya upazila of the district.

40 years of country, 20 years of Star

With great pleasure and considerable pride we launch today our 500-page supplement divided into nine parts to be distributed every Monday and Thursday till April 11, 2011. In a separate advertisement we have given details about the supplements. Suffice it to mention here that through these supplements we present to our readers an elaborate set of articles written by experts in respective fields covering politics, administration, economy, business, education, culture, etc. We hope that our effort will contribute to the building of our Sonar Bangla, whose 40th anniversary of independence we celebrate along with the nation. I take this opportunity to thank our readers, patrons, well wishers, advertisers, sponsors, and others who have consistently supported us and stayed beside us through thick and thin, and helped to bring us where we are today. On behalf of The Daily Star board of directors, and all the staff, I extend our sincere gratitude to all. Thank you.

Experts for assessment on local tech to fight climate

Speakers at a workshop here yesterday stressed the need for an assessment of technological options in local context for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Science Olympiad on March 25

While the country has many business graduates, their managerial skills may go to waste if there are no innovative products or commodities in the market.

Politicians, traders express condolence for Japan

In separate statements yesterday, political and business leaders expressed condolence over the recent death toll in a tsunami in Japan.

Editorial

Stopping border fatalities

It is a welcome piece of news that the Border Security Force (BSF) of India will not use lethal weapons in order to bring down killing of Bangladeshis that has been on the rise at the borders. We would much rather they had no use for weapons at all. For we want a full stop to killings rather than bringing down the number of firing incidents.

Felicitations to The Financial Express

The observance of the seventeenth founding anniversary of The Financial Express last week is testimony to the positive role the newspaper has played in Bangladesh's business journalism all these years. When it first hit the stands, it stood out not only for its look, which was at variance with the image presented by other newspapers, but also for the theme on which it meant to work. Fundamentally, it was --- and remains --- a publication geared to a presentation of news and comments on business, particularly in the national arena. In the years since it was founded, The Financial Express has worked quietly but passionately and in so doing has carved a niche for itself among Bangladesh's newspaper-reading public.

Sports

Nafees, Shuvo expected in

The pressure was over for only two days, and now it is back on again. Just when a win against England seemed like it would buy the Bangladesh side some chances to relax, another must-win tie against the Netherlands beckons today in their first day match of the ICC Cricket World Cup at the Zohur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong. The hype and expectation surrounding this match may not be as much as it was in previous encounters, but today's match is no less important to the cause.

In the spirit of 1997

The mention of 'Netherlands' and the memories of 1997 come pacing back to everyone from that generation. That victory in the second round of the ICC Trophy, skipper Akram Khan's unbeaten 68 and the consequent qualification to the semifinals are considered a seminal moment in this country's cricket.

Records win matches?

Pop quiz: Which is the only team to have a 100 per cent ODI record against Bangladesh? The answer is not Australia, England or India but good old Netherlands.

Kiwis crush Canada

New Zealand's in-form Ross Taylor and opener Brendon McCullum blitzed Canada Sunday, helping to fire the Black Caps into the World Cup quarterfinals with a thumping 97-run win in Mumbai.

Aus sail to qtrs

Holders Australia claimed their place in the last eight of the World Cup on Sunday but they were made to work surprisingly hard by Kenya who restored pride with a defiant performance despite losing by 60 runs.

Akmals are in

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is positive of wrapping up a World Cup quarterfinal spot on Monday despite another twist in the ongoing Akmal brothers soap opera.

'Bat for country, not for crowd'

India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni lashed out at his batsmen for playing to the gallery and not for their country in the three-wicket World Cup defeat to South Africa.

Chokers no more

South Africa captain Graeme Smith insists his team shook off their chokers' tag in Saturday's win over India which came on the fifth anniversary of cricket's most famous run chase.

Butcher wants better batting

Zimbabwe's English coach Alan Butcher demanded better batting in the match against Pakistan on Monday, saying small totals cannot win his team World Cup matches.

Abahani win battle of pride

Holders Abahani survived a scare to edge Mohammedan SC 1-0 in their last match of the first leg in the Grameenphone Bangladesh League at the Birshreshtha Mostafa Kamal Stadium in Kamalapur yesterday.

MU send Gunners crashing

Manchester United got their spluttering season back on track with a 2-0 win against Arsenal in the FA Cup quarterfinals at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Bowled at Last

It is always sad to learn of the passing of someone you knew quite well, sadder still is knowing he was an important part of a pastime that was dear to both of us. Saddest of all is knowing another cricketer of our generation has walked back to that Great Pavilion in the sky. As a breed of yesteryear cricketers we are depleting.

Juventus snap losing streak

Juventus ended a three-match losing streak despite playing more than half the game with 10 men as they were held 2-2 at lowly Cesena on Saturday.

Benzema brace keeps Real in race

Frenchman Karim Benzema scored in his third consecutive game as Real Madrid beat Hercules 2-0 and move within four points of leaders Barcelona on Saturday.

Robben hattrick salvages Bayern

Dutch winger Arjen Robben netted a hattrick as Bayern Munich broke their losing streak with a 6-0 rout of Hamburg on Saturday, while leaders Borussia Dortmund were beaten 1-0 at Hoffenheim.

Business

Project faults stymie WB fund flow

Bangladesh did not receive funds in line with the rise in commitments by the World Bank (WB) because of low-level of implementation of projects by the government.

Microcredit: prevent it from collapse

Noted economists and analysts yesterday urged the critics of microcredit, including the government, not to underrate the contribution of microfinance institutions that help lift millions out of poverty.

Stock rally ends in a big jolt

An upward trend in the stockmarket for the previous six consecutive sessions ended in a steep fall yesterday.

S Korea wins oil field deals with UAE

South Korea signed deals on Sunday to explore major oil reserves in the United Arab Emirates as Seoul tries to secure more sources of energy amid closer ties with the Gulf federation.

Robi posts 31pc revenue growth

Mobile operator Robi recorded 31 percent revenue growth in 2010 along with double-digit hikes in all other financial indicators, the company said yesterday.

Moriarty stresses ethical business to fight against corruption

Business leaders of Bangladesh should fight against corruption by promoting principles of transparency, accountability and integrity to attract foreign investment and develop the national economy, said a senior US official.

Govt launches e-monitoring of procurement

The government yesterday launched an electronic monitoring system to check any irregularities and corruption in public procurement.

Four directors elected to DSE

Four directors were elected to the Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) yesterday for three years.

New general manager for the Westin Dhaka

Azeem Shah has been appointed general manager of the Westin Dhaka, said a statement yesterday.

Strong people make a strong bank

Standard Chartered Bank will continue to develop and introduce new products and investment in Bangladesh to cater to growing consumer banking, buoyed by people's rising purchasing power, its top human resource strategist said.

Budget airlines open up Asia's skies to the masses

A decade ago, even some of Asia's wealthier people could face a long bumpy ride on a bus to visit family or take a break on the beach -- flying was simply too expensive.

Buyback, for wrong reasons

Even with a bearish mood on the stockmarket, the government is determined to introduce an extensive “buyback" programme, but market experts said it hikes the chances of manipulation.

Analysts warn of low-profile companies' risky trends

Some high-profile companies are still lucrative to invest in, while most of low-profile companies' shares turn into overprices.

Japan quake to delay recovery, pump up debt

Japan is likely to suffer a temporary economic hit from Friday's devastating earthquake and tsunami and then enjoy a boost from reconstruction but the cost of rebuilding will worsen its already worryingly high public debt burden.

Investors doubt Zimbabwe despite major steel deal

Zimbabwe last week won its biggest foreign investment in a decade with a $750-million steel deal, but that left other firms even more confused about the rules of business in the troubled nation.

Iraqi city sees hotel boom

The holy Shiite city of Najaf in central Iraq, home to the shrine of a revered cleric, is in the midst of a hotel building boom in a bid to dramatically ramp up the number of visiting pilgrims.

Quake threatens setback for nuclear energy

Explosion and meltdown fears at Japan's quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant renewed debate about the safety of atomic energy Sunday and cast doubt over its future as a clean energy source.

Energy markets brace for shockwaves

Fossil fuels may rise on Monday as energy will be in focus with investors more concerned about how Japan will replace lost electricity generation capacity than the negative impact of Friday's cataclysmic earthquake on the economy.

China partly wins appeal on US anti-dumping dispute

The World Trade Organisation on Friday partly upheld a Chinese appeal in a ruling on US anti-dumping measures on some steel pipes, tyres and laminated woven sacks that left Washington smarting.

Cambodia to use local currency on stock exchange

Cambodia will use the local currency for trading on its soon-to-be-launched stock exchange, officials said Saturday, in a bid to boost the use of the riel in the heavily dollarised country.

'Considerable' economic impact from Japan quake

Japan's government said Sunday it expects the economic impact of Friday's huge 8.9-magnitude quake, and the devastating tsunami that followed, to be "considerable".

Corporate Briefs

IFIL ISLAMIC MUTUAL FUND-1
On the close of operation on March 8, the fund reported net asset value of Tk 8.77 per unit on current market price and Tk 10.25 per unit on cost price against face value of Tk 10. Total net assets stood at Tk 87,73,21,962,60 on market price and Tk 102,52,63,134.40 on cost price after considering all assets and liabilities.

Workers damage garment factories for a rate hike

A group of angry workers yesterday damaged three garment factories of Givency Group of Industries in Gazipur demanding a hike in the rate for making per piece of sweater, police said.

Metropolitan

'Recognise women for facing adversities to establish rights'

The success of today's women was achieved due to the guiding paths created over the years by many women who had to face many adversities, said discussants yesterday.

No to random tax exemption: Hasina

The government will not entertain tax exemption indiscriminately in the future and will motivate eligible taxpayers to pay their due taxes.

Pro-BNP lawyers express no confidence in court

A section of pro-BNP lawyers yesterday created a chaotic situation during a hearing on a suomoto rule at a High Court bench, shouting in obscene language.

Bicycle service introduced at DU

The 'Campus-based Cycle Service Programme' was launched on Dhaka University (DU) campus yesterday to ease movement of the students and protect the environment.

AL favourites take both mayor posts

Awami League-backed two candidates won the Brahmanbaria and Jhenidah municipal polls yesterday.

World Consumer Rights Day tomorrow

World Consumer Rights Day will be observed tomorrow with a theme for 2011 “Consumers for fair financial services”.

'Killers' on bail threatening victim's family

Wife and two children of a Sylhet college professor, who was stabbed to death by criminals near his Gourgovinda Tila residence on March 21, 2010, are living in fear as the alleged killers, now on bail, are threatening to kill them.

Fifth census begins tomorrow

The government starts fifth Population and Housing Census 2011 tomorrow to enumerate the country's population, families and households.

Commonwealth Day today

Commonwealth Day will be observed today with a theme for 2011 'Women as Agents of Change'.

Membership for currency traders urged

Money Changers Association of Bangladesh (MCAB) has put their demand to the government to make the organization's membership mandatory for the foreign currency traders in the country.

SC allows govt to appeal against HC verdict

The Supreme Court yesterday allowed the government to move an appeal with this court against the High Court verdict that declared the existing warrant of precedence illegal.

Include all communities in census

Some eminent personalities yesterday urged the government to include all people of different underprivileged communities in the national census for protecting their rights.

3 warehouses gutted in city

At least 14 makeshift houses and three warehouses were gutted in two fire incidents in the city's Kamrangirchar yesterday.

Girl kills herself

A teenage girl allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling fan in the city’s Manikdi under Cantonment on Saturday night, after being scolded by her father.

Zillur for upholding fame of army

President Zillur Rahman has called for upholding the fame of Bangladesh Army acquired at home and abroad through efficient discharge of their professional duties.

Road crashes kill 2

An employee of a construction firm was killed as a bus hit his motorbike at the city's Ramna yesterday.

Cooperate with census: President

President Zillur Rahman yesterday urged the countrymen to provide all-out cooperation for the 5th population census-2011 and household counting to be conducted on March 15-19 across the country.

Service to hearing-impaired stressed

The Society for Education and Care of Hearing Impaired Children (HICARE) has underscored the need for expansion of the society's activities for rendering services to the hearing impaired children in the country.

Switzerland provides $5 lakh for Bangladeshi refugees

Switzerland has provided five lakh US dollars for repatriation of Bangladeshi migrant workers caught in the middle of the Libyan crisis, said a Swiss embassy press release in Dhaka yesterday.

HC issues rule to ensure gas supply

The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within three weeks why it should not be directed to ensure sufficient supply of gas for households in the capital and to control the price of liquid petroleum (LP) gas cylinder.

Japan to donate for dev projects

Japan decided to extend three grants assistance totaling US $ 272,477 (approximately Tk 1.9 crore) for grass roots human security projects in rural areas.

National

Farmers worried as Sunamganj embankment work unfinished

Farmers in haor (giant water body) areas of Sunamganj district are worried as the embankment work under projects of Water Development Board (WDB) to save the boro croplands from possible natural calamities are still far from completion.

Aila affected people still face acute water crisis

Serious crisis of safe drinking water is causing intestinal diseases like diarrhoea and dysentery in the Aila-affected Dakope upazila of Khulna district.

18,205 to vie for 4,017 posts in Barisal divn

As many as 18,205 candidates are contesting for 4,017 posts in 309 union parishds (UPs) under six districts of Barisal division.

Ruling party men 'grab' RHD land in Lalmonirhat

At least 17 decimals of Roads and Highway Department (RHD) land have been 'grabbed' after felling 120 deodar trees there allegedly by ruling party men at Sadar Hospital Road in the town.

'Katka tragedy day' observed at KU

Teachers, students, officials and employees of Khulna University (KU) observed 'Katka tragedy day' yesterday.

Stalker, accomplices foil wedding

A stalker and his accomplices foiled the marriage ceremony of a young girl at Sokdi Panchgaon village in Sadar upazila Friday afternoon.

Jamaat sues 1,000 AL men in Nilphamari

Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh has sued 1,000 local leaders and activists of Awami League and its front organisations on charge of damaging, ransacking and torching its district party office.

Boy drowns at Madhabkunda waterfall

A nine-year-old boy fell in a well of Madhabkunda waterfall and drowned on Saturday.

Betel leaves on 7 more bighas 'torched'

Betel leaves on seven more bighas of land in Kaliganj upazila of Jhenidah district were 'torched' yesterday.

AL lawmaker's house looted in Barisal

House of a ruling Awami League lawmaker, also district AL office secretary was looted in broad day light in the city yesterday.

BNP activists attack police

Two policemen were injured as BNP activists threw brickbats on them from a procession in Jhikorgachha upazila bazaar bus stand area Saturday evening. The injured were identified as SI Shoeb Ali and ASI Mursalin of Jhikorgachha police station. Police said local BNP organised a protest meeting demanding withdrawal of a defamation case filed against BNP leader and publisher of a local daily former minister Toriqul Islam in bazaar area Saturday afternoon. After the meeting, when the processionists were passing by the bus stand, some activists threw brickbats targeting police, leaving the two police officers injured, said OC Abdur Razzak of Jhikorgachha PS. The injured were admitted to the upazila health complex. A GD was filed.

Robbery in B'baria, 4 hurt

Robbers looted valuables worth Tk 3 lakh from a house at Champak Nagar in Bijoynagar upazila early Saturday injuring four members of the house. Locals said a gang of robbers, numbering 10/12, swooped on the house of Mahmud Chowdhury at about 3am. At one stage when the house members tried to resist the gang, they beat them mercilessly leaving the owner and his relatives Rubel Chowdhury, Hannan Chowdhury and Shahjada Begum injured. Later, the robbers took away 7 tolas of gold ornaments, cash and other valuables worth Tk 3 lakh from the house.

Jute seeds seized, one held

Detective branch of police here seized 423 packets of low quality Indian jute seeds and arrested one Belal Hossain from Chawk Rampur area in the town on Saturday. Arrestee Belal Hossain is son of Abdus Salam of Jongli Bograpara village under Natore Sadar upazila. He was allegedly involved in repacking the date-expired low-grade seeds. Local people and sources said, Abdus Rahim, 45, his younger brother Abdus Sattar, 40, and Rahim's brother-in-law Abdul Quddus used to make and sell fake jute seeds in the name of an Indian company. Nasirul Islam, acting superintendent of police in Natore, said, on secret information, DB police seized about 300 sacks of fake 'Bharot Nursery' seeds from Chawk Rampur area and arrested van driver Belal. Later, the team raided Rahim's house and seized more than 120 bags of seeds and tools for making fake seeds.

Letters

Problem number one

Population problem is number one problem of Bangladesh. Our population was about 75 million in 1971, but within a time span of 40 years, it has now crossed 160 million. Such a huge population with a growth rate of about 1.5%, huddled up in an area of only 1, 47,570 sq. km, poses the greatest challenge to all of our development efforts. Acute poverty, widespread unemployment, food shortage, deteriorating law and order situation, illiteracy, environmental disruption etc are the main problems we are trying to solve, but we should always keep it in mind that our ever-increasing population is the mother of all these problems. Therefore, our govt. should immediately adopt a well-defined population policy having a time-frame for achieving zero growth rate within the shortest possible time. As one of the steps to reach the goal, a massive public awareness drive especially among the poor should be launched and continued with the help of all govt. and non-govt. agencies, NGOs, intellectuals and members of the civil society.

Short bridges responsible for river choking

The news item, 'low bridges choke rivers' published in your daily on 9 February, 2011, has drawn my attention. In fact, short bridges, shorter in length than the width of the rivers and canals on which they are constructed, are more responsible than the low bridges for the choking of the rivers and canals. It has become a practice in Bangladesh that when a bridge is constructed over a river or a canal, to save some money or whatever the reason, it is made shorter in length than the actual width of the river or the canal; then the bridge is connected to the road by earth filling on both sides, and thus choking of the river or canal starts.

We can do it

First of all, as a Bangladeshi I am proud of Bangladesh's victory against England. It was badly needed. Just one week earlier we lost to Ireland and a lot of people questioned about our test status. Today we have shown we can come back from any situation. One day or one match does not say everything.

The government is demeaning the country

We are watching the happenings around us with deep anguish and dismay, it seems that sense and sensibility has departed. Those who are at the helm of the country are doing most outrageous things. Removing Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus from Grameen Bank is so deplorable that we are stunned and just cannot believe it.

Where is our sensibility?

What is going on in Bangladesh? Where is our sensibility? The Attorney General says in an interview right after the petition, "If anyone is supposed to get a Nobel peace prize in Bangladesh it should be either Sheikh Hasina or Shantu Larma." What is happening? Is this a competition on buttering up?

Love for country

While reading Chinese writer Han Suyin's book "My House Has Two Doors" my eyes fixed on a particular sentence. Here, a Chinese citizen disclosed to the writer that he was not a communist but he loved his country and was willing to study Marxism. In our country, sadly some political leaders couldn't come out of their particular agendas. In fact, a large number of our politicians are busy with parochial agendas of making fortune and taking their respective parties to power. The mentality is in sharp contrast with the progress and development of the country. We have won independence about four decades back and it is high time for our leaders to give a serious introspect into the matter. If they change their mindset, only then people will see a tangible progress in the country.

Shift DSE from Motijheel

Motijheel Commercial Area is the commercial hub of Dhaka. Many high-rise buildings, hundreds of public and private organisations, offices, establishments, banks, insurance companies, export and import enterprises, mercantile houses and DSE are located here. Motijheel Commercial Area always buzzes with economic and monetary activities, trade and commerce.

Yunus is our golden boy

As a nation, we cannot evaluate appropriately a revered person. Probably this is one of the reasons why we are lagging behind. We have hardly any internationally recognised persons in our country. There are people who are talented in our country, but the irony is that they are not appreciated or acknowledged properly. Therefore, those brilliant people tend to lose interest in giving their best efforts in building the nation. The way GOB has played its role in removing Nobel Laureate Prof. Yunus from the Grameen Bank is nothing but a display of government's lack of prudence. Despite all the controversy, Prof. Yunus is our golden son and only individual to represent Bangladesh in international arena. My deepest gratitude to Muhammad Zafar Iqbal for writing such a humane article titled 'Prof. Yunus and Bangladesh' published in The Daily Star on 7th March, 2011.

The grabbing of Grameen

The sacking of Dr Yunus (OK, let us call it “Removal”) was 'justified' by the Hon'ble (?) Finance Minister before some worried members of the Diplomatic Corps as reported in DS on Friday, 4th March. Grameen Bank repudiated it on 5th, saying most of the FM's statements are “inaccurate” (would 'lies' have been more appropriate?).

Nobel Prize? It's so easy!

After Dr. Muhammad Yunus got the Nobel Peace Prize, I have observed an interesting attitude among some people of our country Phooo! Nobel Prize? Nothing very difficult to accomplish, it's so easy! When man like Dr. Yunus can get Nobel, why not me and you? Dr. Yunus got the Nobel Prize for his remarkable accomplishments towards uplifting the lot of the common people not only of Bangladesh but people world over. So, Bangladesh as a whole should pay due honour to Dr. Yunus to retaining the dignity of the Nobel Prize so that in future some other Bangladeshi can get such prestigious award in recognition of his/her contributions in the arena of science and the humanities. Under this reference, I would like to record here another observation of mine. Perhaps to develop new leadership and dynamism our present Prime Minister has absorbed some young professionals but less politically popular persons into her cabinet. I would also request her to include some senior and experienced Awami League leaders who have great potentiality to help government solve the existing problems and contributing towards realizing government's development goal. What I strongly feel is that qualification is important, but qualification plus experience works more effectively in smooth running of the state affairs.

Women's dignity

My sister-in-law Juthi had to break up with her husband who constantly belittled her. Coming from a respectable family, she was unable to stomach her husband's condescending attitude towards her. Her husband constantly reminded her that it was because of him that she led a rich life in a luxury condo in Dhaka. Only Allah knows how many girls are being humiliated by their husbands like this.

Readers respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Saturday's The Daily Star report headlined “GB chair's strange email”.

International

Japanese towns become mud-strewn wastelands

Wastelands of mud and debris now stretch along Japan's northeast coast where towns and villages used to be, consumed by a terrifying tsunami triggered by Japan's biggest ever earthquake.

Japan Reactor Crisis Update

* Yesterday an official at Japan's nuclear agency rates the incident at 4 on the 0-7 international scale of severity. The 1986 Chernobyl disaster was rated 7, while the 1979 Three Mile Island accident was rated 5.

Gaddafi's troops press ahead in east

Muammar Gaddafi's troops forced outgunned Libyan rebels to retreat eastwards yesterday and laid siege to pockets of resistance, unimpeded by diplomatic efforts to impose a no-fly zone.

Fears of civil war in Ivory Coast

Security forces loyal to Cote d'Ivoire's disputed president, Laurent Gbagbo, have launched a fresh attack to drive fighters backing Alassane Ouattara, his rival for the presidency, out of a suburb of Abidjan, military officials said.

Quake threatens setback for nuclear energy

Explosion and meltdown fears at Japan's quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant renewed debate about the safety of atomic energy yesterday and cast doubt over its future as a clean energy source.

Japan facing worst crisis since WWII

Japan is facing its worst crisis in the 65 years since the end of World War II, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said yesterday, calling on the nation to unite after it was devastated by a huge earthquake.

Israel okays new Jewish settlers in West Bank

Israel has approved the construction of hundreds of homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

3 killed, dozens wounded in fresh violence

The United States expressed deep concern over escalating violence in Yemen, where at least three people were killed in bloody clashes between security forces and protesters yesterday.

Arts & Entertainment

Baul Samrat Remembered

The two-day folk music festival marking Shah Abdul Karim's birth anniversary ended at his village Ujon Dhol, in Sunamganj district, in the early hours yesterday. Thousands of people from neighbouring areas enjoyed the concluding day's presentations.

Hemingway Classic Old Man and the Sea Staged

The fortnight-long theatre festival by the Department of Theatre, Dhaka University has reached its final phase. On March 12, an adaptation of Earnest Hemingway's overly familiar work “The Old Man and the Sea” was staged.

Chronicles of Change

“Ogni O Jol: Rupantorer Golpo”, a collection of eleven short stories by Selina Hossain, Audity Falguni, Shahnaz Munni, Jharna Rahman, Papree Rahman, Moni Haider, Tanvir Malik, Munasir Kamal and others, has been published by Mowla Brothers and BRAC University Press. Edited by poet-writer Shamim Azad, the book is unique in its articulation of change in women's lives and the ways the authors have transformed case studies into fiction.

Songs of the Soil

A three-day Baul Festival concluded in Pabna on March 12 with a call for the preservation of folk traditions. A round of discussions focused on the literary work of the three folk legends Lalon Shah, Kangal Harinath, and Meser Shah. A reception was also organised for the prominent folk singers of the country.

Flute Sisters

They call themselves "flute sisters". Aptly so as they are siblings and adept flautists. Meet Suchismita and Debopriya who performed the other evening on International Women's Day.

Noazesh Knowledge Centre Opens Its Doors

Wildlife Trust of Bangladesh (WTB) and Zoological Society of London (ZSL) jointly opened Noazesh Knowledge Centre, the country's first library exclusively on nature conservation, at the Cosmos Centre in Dhaka on March 12.

Rabirag Performs in Sylhet

Artistes of Rabirag, Dhaka kept a packed audience captivated for over two hours at Sylhet Auditorium on March 10. This was Sadi Mohammad and his group's first ever performance in the north-eastern city. The programme, titled 'Kobi Bondona', was arranged in observance of Tagore's 150th birth anniversary.

OP-ED

Japan tsunami: Lessons for us

Japan is not a stranger to tsunamis and earthquakes as it has a highly advanced network of early warning system and matching infrastructure both against quakes and tsunamis. But still, Friday's tsunami triggered by an earthquake at the Pacific Ocean's floor more than 24 kilometres below the surface (hypocentre) wreaked havoc on the northeast coast of the country. The quake, with its epicentre located 130 kilometres off the east coast of Oshika Peninsula, Tohuku, measured between 8.9 to 9.1 on the Richter scale, which was the largest one to hit Japan and within the boundaries of North American and Pacific tectonic plates in the last 1,200 years.

The future of Commonwealth

The concept of Commonwealth as a free association and the fact that the newly independent countries coming out of the clutches of the British Imperial yoke would like to stay on in the Commonwealth, facilitated transfer of power from the British Crown in the mid-forties.


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