The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Friday, July 25, 2014


News of: Sunday, 20th of March, 2011

Front Page

French jets strike Libya

* US missile operation follows
* Paris summit agrees to use air power to enforce no-fly zone
* Moscow regrets armed intervention
* US defence chief postpones Russia trip
* Red Cross urges all to respect humanitarian laws

Tigers sent packing

The most cherished team has exited the ICC Cricket World Cup yesterday. A hundred and sixty million people who have turned this shore into a fever pitch for the last one month are stunned by a spectacular déjà vu.

Frustration runs deep

(Morshed Ali Khan writes from the spot where thousands of Bangladeshi workers have taken shelter after fleeing the Libyan upheaval)

Khaleda, Blake share same view

Robert O Blake, US assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, has hoped the issue involving Prof Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank would be resolved amicably.

Govt to fly in bodies of 9 workers

The government has asked the Bangladesh ambassador in Greece to send home the nine bodies of migrant workers, who jumped off a ship during evacuation from Libya to the Greek island of Crete on March 6.

Crews reach Oman port

Bangladesh-flagged ship MV Jahan Moni, hijacked by Somali pirates more than three months back, berthed safely at Port of Salalah in Oman yesterday, said officials of the ship's operating company.

Keep army in barracks

On March 20, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman led a team of senior Awami League figures to the President's House for talks with General Yahya Khan and his advisers. On the Awami League side were, besides Mujib, Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, M Mansoor Ali, Khondokar Moshtaque Ahmed and Dr Kamal Hossain. Assisting President Yahya Khan at the talks were General Peerzada, Justice Cornelius and Col. Hasan. As Kamal Hossain would later relate the details of the day's talks, incidents involving the Pakistan army and Bengali civilians the previous day, when a truck carrying soldiers came under attack from the Bengalis, as also Bengali resistance to an unloading of ammunition from MV Swat (a point which the White Paper of the junta in August of the year would make) came up for discussion. It was especially General Yahya who brought up the issue. In a rather agitated voice, the President told the Awami League team that though he had arrived in Dhaka to find a way out of the crisis and had asked the army to exercise restraint, he could not tolerate any hindrances to movements by troops in the province.

Bus ploughs through procession, kills 8

A rashly driven bus ploughed through a procession, killing at least eight people and injuring 52 others on Dhaka-Kuakata highway at Amtoli of Barguna last night.

Huda in for SC bar polls

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has asked the party's expelled vice-chairman Nazmul Huda to work for the opposition-backed panel in the Supreme Court Bar Association election.

Body focuses on people's rights

The parliamentary special committee on constitution amendment is now looking for ways to further consolidate citizens' fundamental rights true to the aspirations of the constitution of 1972.

High radiation in food, tap water

Japan confirmed the presence of radioactive iodine contamination in food products from near the crippled Fukushima nuclear power station and ordered a halt to the sale of such products from the area.

Onus on Tarique

BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman will play an important role in selecting one for the secretary general post which fell vacant after Khandaker Delwar Hossain died, said party insiders.

15 project proposals sent

Bangladesh has sent 15 project proposals, mostly related to rail and infrastructure, worth $781 million under the $1 billion credit line to the Indian government for final consent.

5th population census ends

The fifth population census of the country came to an end yesterday with complaints of leaving out a lot of people from the enumeration process.

Delwar laid to rest

BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain was laid to rest yesterday at his family graveyard at Khirai Pachuria in Ghior upazila of Manikganj.

Gun attack on procession

A local leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League was shot dead and 12 were injured in a pre-poll violence in Terokhada upazila of Khulna yesterday morning.

Toxic gas kills 2

Two youths died by inhaling poisonous fumes after they climbed down into a newly-built septic tank at Sapahar upazila of Naogaon, yesterday morning.

PM opens 2 rental power plants today

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the operation of two newly-built rental power plants and also lay foundation for another one at three separate locations in Narayanganj today.

Mother shot at

Muggers tried to snatch a seven-month old girl after shooting at her mother at the capital's Hatirpool area yesterday.

Sri Lankans vote for rebuilding: president

Sri Lanka's president said yesterday his party's landslide victory in local elections was an endorsement of the government's focus on rebuilding rural areas after decades of civil war.

Pressure mounts on Bahrain as fourth protester dies

Pressure mounted on Bahrain to exercise restraint and ensure the safety of arrested opposition leaders, as a fourth person died yesterday after security forces quelled a month-old pro-democracy protest earlier this week.

Editorial

Repatriation hampered

The appeal by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR for international assistance in repatriating thousands of foreigners fleeing Libya is the biggest sign of what governments can yet do to help captive citizens. The situation is particularly difficult for the thousands of Bangladeshis who remain stranded on the frontier between Libya and Tunisia, a condition that looks likely to continue now that the IOM has run out of funds. While one expects the international community to come forward, and quickly with emergency funds, one also believes that governments such as Bangladesh's should be doing a whole lot more to help their own people out of the crisis.

Biman's loss of customers

The state that the national carrier is in at present it can do well without any poorly planned step. This has become only too evident from the quandary Biman finds itself in due to the enhancement of fares, which, apparently, was effected without proper homework.

Sports

We crumbled under pressure: Shakib

A famous French philosopher once said that, to him, hell was other people. Shakib Al Hasan will probably never be as eloquent as Jean Paul Sartre but after yesterday he would certainly beg to differ. Because for the Bangladesh captain, hell was a harrowingly cyclical revisit of the dreadful performance against the West Indies at the same venue only two weeks earlier.

Learn or fall behind

While the on-field World Cup has been a reasonably successful one with the Tigers gaining the expected results, the month-long appearance in the sport's biggest has been a huge learning curve for this young team.

Not too easy for Lobsy

The palpable sigh of relief that rung across the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday when the team lists were announced was almost audible. There were no surprises in the Bangladesh side, but the names that elicited the reaction were notable by their absence from the South Africa team sheet.

Pakistan end Aussie WC streak

Paceman Umar Gul claimed three victims as Pakistan beat Australia by four wickets on Saturday, ending the defending champions' unbeaten 34-match World Cup run and capturing top spot in Group A.

Could be ton of tons

Sachin Tendulkar can complete another landmark on Sunday by hitting his 100th international hundred as India tackle West Indies in the World Cup's final group match.

Taylor's call: Trust fielder

New Zealand's stand-in skipper Ross Taylor says the fielder's word should be trusted in case of close catches after his side ended up on the receiving end of a controversial umpire decision.

Zim to stake a claim

Zimbabwe are desperate to prove they belong with cricket's big beasts as they wrap up their World Cup campaign against tournament whipping boys Kenya on Sunday.

Unpredictable, but hardly glorious

The last thing the team needed was a tag but 'unpredictable' is what the Tigers will go out with from this World Cup.

Learn from mistakes: MS

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni wants his side to learn the harsh lessons from defeat by South Africa and a tie with England as their thoughts turn to the World Cup quarterfinals.

Hammers hold Spurs

West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green made a series of fine saves to help West Ham earn a 0-0 draw against London rivals Tottenham at White Hart Lane on Saturday.

City come calling

Carlo Ancelotti insists his Chelsea remain bystanders in the title race but their chances of making a late charge will strengthen if they can secure victory over Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Draw pleases Jose

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho is looking forward to congratulating Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp for leading his side into the Champions League quarterfinals when their teams meet next month.

Bishoo fulfils dad's wish

West Indies leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo said he fulfilled his father's dying wish when he made his World Cup debut.

Veeru in doubt

Opening batsman Virender Sehwag is doubtful for India's final group match of the World Cup against the West Indies on Sunday as he has a knee injury.

Test return excites Zim coach

Coach Alan Butcher said Saturday that a return to Test cricket after six years away from the circuit will be "massive" for Zimbabwe, as they prepare to end their exile in August.

Shahzad out

The Surrey seamer Jade Dernbach has been named as the surprise replacement in England's World Cup squad, after Ajmal Shahzad sustained a hamstring strain that ruled him out of contention for the knock-out stages of the tournament.

Benzema at his best

Real Madrid's French international Karim Benzema believes he is in his best form since he joined the Spanish giants from Lyon in July 2009.

Bangladesh fly sans Aminul

Bangladesh national football team reached Myanmar in the early hours of Saturday for the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers without their veteran goalkeeper Aminul Haq.

Lucho falls victim to burglary

Didier Deschamps expressed concern Friday after revealing that star midfielder Lucho Gonzalez was the latest Marseille player to fall victim to armed burglars.

'Marriage is like football'

West Germany's 1990 World Cup winning captain Lotthar Matthaus equated football to being married in an interview with Bild on Saturday to celebrate his 50th birthday which he celebrates on Monday.

Business

Japan quake shakes up used car market

Prices of imported reconditioned cars are set to rise on the local market due to a limited number of used vehicles available in Japan following the recent devastating earthquake and tsunami.

Sheraton, no more

From next month, Sheraton will not be in sight, but a five-star hotel with a different name -- Dhaka Continental.

Youngone sets export target higher

Youngone Group, a Korean garment and shoe maker operating in Bangladesh, has set a $440 million export target for the year 2011, a 10 percent rise from last year, said a top official of the company.

Stocks pass volatile week

Stocks passed a volatile week as the benchmark yardstick of the prime bourse lost 3.42 percent because the confidence of investors turned topsy-turvy.

SME Foundation holds AGM

The fifth annual general meeting of Small & Medium Enterprise (SME) Foundation was held at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city yesterday.

Tourists gone, bikes back in once-popular Japan town

More than a week after an earthquake and tsunami smashed much of Japan's northeast coast to pulp, a small tourist town tucked safely between mountains has ground nearly to a halt.

PM asks garment owners to be kind to workers

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday urged the owners of readymade garments manufacturing units to be more sympathetic towards the workers.

Barisal food company gets solar power system

A solar power pilot project was launched at a food production company in the southern region on Thursday. Officials involved with the project stressed an expanded use of alternative power sources to address the energy crisis.

IBM to pay $10m to settle Asian bribe case

IBM has agreed to pay $10 million to settle charges it gave cash and gifts to Chinese and South Korean officials to win contracts for mainframe and personal computers and other products.

US hopes geopolitics can help land India jet deal

Two US aerospace firms are jostling with global rivals to win a $11-12 billion Indian fighter jet contract, hoping a nascent US-India strategic partnership can help seal the deal.

Food: the next big bankable idea?

The world keeps seeing more mouths to feed, a fact that leads to smart investment bets.

Herbal drugs make a niche

Herbs and plants have been used in many parts of the world for medicinal purposes for millenniums. But use of herbal cures began declining since early 19th century when chemical analyses were introduced and scientists started extracting and modifying the active ingredients of herbs and plants.

Pharma securities lucrative on stockmarket

Most of the listed companies on Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) under the “pharmaceuticals and chemicals” segment are treated like lucrative scrip, although the sector accounts for less than 3 percent of the total market capitalisation.

G7 closes ranks to shore up quake-hit markets

Japan and its economic allies vowed Friday to intervene jointly in world currency markets for the first time in a decade to calm turmoil sparked by a huge earthquake and a deepening nuclear crisis.

Tourists could see SE Asia on single visa

Travellers could soon be able surf in Bali, shop in Singapore and eat spicy street food in Thailand before crossing into Cambodia and cruising the Mekong in Vietnam -- all on a single tourist visa.

Work starts on first Windows Nokia phones

Work has begun on the first Nokia Oyj smartphones based on Microsoft Corp software following the partnership announced by the companies last month, Nokia Chief Executive Stephen Elop told Reuters.

Goldman to buy Buffett's $5b preferred shares

Goldman Sachs Group Inc will buy back $5 billion of preferred stock from Warren Buffett, ending a costly deal that helped shore up confidence in the bank at the height of the financial crisis.

NY Times to charge readers on the Web

The New York Times unveiled plans Thursday to begin charging for full access to its website in a move that will be closely watched by other newspapers looking to boost online revenue.

G7 yen pledge boosts Asian stock markets

Asian stocks gained Friday after the G7 rich nations vowed to intervene in forex markets to stem the yen's rise and support Japan's economy amid a nuclear crisis after a record earthquake.

Kyrgyzstan 'ready to sell gas company to Russia's Gazprom'

Kyrgzystan is ready to sell a 75 percent stake in its national gas company to Russia's Gazprom, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev was quoted as saying Friday.

SEAsia's biggest IPO hit by Japan crisis

Shares in the China port unit of Hong Kong giant Hutchison Whampoa fell almost six percent on their debut in Singapore on Friday, hurt by the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan.

AIG unit forecasts Japan quake loss of $700m in Q1

Insurer AIG said Friday that Japan's massive earthquake and tsunami disaster would cost its Chartis subsidiary $700 million in the first quarter of 2011.

Weekly Currency Roundup

March 13th-March 16th, 2011
International Markets
This week the international FX markets were deeply affected by the earthquake in Japan. The yen strengthened significantly on the back of strong anticipated repatriation by Japanese investors and a spike in risk aversion. The yen steadied around a four-month high versus the dollar on Wednesday, but Japan's nuclear crisis could trigger more yen demand versus higher risk currencies, raising the prospect of intervention to stem gains. The dollar traded at 80.70 yen, just above a four-month low of 80.60 yen hit on Monday. Higher risk aversion could push up the yen, on speculation Japanese financial institutions will repatriate funds to Japan and on renewed selling of higher risk currencies, although the dollar's record low of 79.75 yen looms. Since a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on Friday, the yen has risen, partly on market speculation that Japanese insurers and companies may repatriate funds to help pay claims and reconstruction costs. Concerns the Japanese authorities will intervene to weaken the yen have limited its upside so far. Other "safe-haven" currencies including the dollar and the Swiss franc were supported by ongoing uncertainty about the aftermath of Japan's earthquake and political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa. The dollar index rose 0.3 percent, while the Swiss franc traded at 0.9166 francs per dollar, hovering in range of an all-time high hit on Tuesday. The euro slipped 0.5 percent to having failed to break above a four-month high of $1.4036 hit earlier this month. Market participants said offers to sell the euro lay above $1.40, keeping downward pressure on the single currency. Local Money Market
Call money rates stayed steady, and mostly traded in the 11-12% band. Local Market FX
USD/BDT rates remained steady, while liquidity situation was improved.

Metropolitan

Libyan rebels pose no harm to Bangladeshis

Libyan rebels in general are harmless to Bangladeshi expatriates, said a Bangladeshi chest surgeon, who safely managed to flee home from the Libyan political upheaval along with three nurses.

Char people still in dark

Birth registration rate in char and remote areas of coastal region is low as most people are unaware of its importance due to extreme poverty and illiteracy.

Businesses see no risks from Japan crisis as yet

Local businesses having trade links with Japan see no immediate risk from Japan crisis, but are concerned about the potential negative impact on the country's economy.

$21b plan to ensure safe water for all

A new sector development plan for water supply and sanitation has been proposed for an investment of $21 billion in next 15 years to ensure everybody's access to safe drinking water and sanitary latrines in the country.

Hatirjheel-Begunbari roads likely to open from Nov

The much-awaited Hatirjheel-Begunbari roads are likely to be opened on a temporary basis from November.

Govt to fly in bodies of nine workers

The government has asked the Bangladesh ambassador in Greece to send home the nine bodies of migrant workers, who jumped off a ship during evacuation from Libya to the Greek island of Crete on March 6.

'Treat challenged people positively'

Former adviser to a caretaker government Advocate Sultana Kamal yesterday urged all to show a positive attitude towards people with disabilities to protect their rights.

Japan disasters not to deter Padma Bridge construction

Prime Minister's International Affairs Adviser Gowhar Rizvi said construction of Padma Bridge would not be hampered, although Japan is affected by a series of disasters.

Student jailed for uploading girl's obscene photos on facebook

A mobile court in the city's Uttara yesterday sentenced a university student to a one and a half years in jail for uploading vulgar photographs of a female college student on the internet.

Sahara for victim, witness protection act

Home Minister Sahara Khatun yesterday vowed to extend her ministry's full cooperation in the immediate implementation of the proposed 'Victim and Witness Protection Act'.

Plot on to make judiciary ineffective

Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday said a conspiracy is being planned to make the country's judiciary ineffective.

Decision on lower court judges'transfer today

The general administration committee of Supreme Court (SC) today will decide on a government proposal for the transfer of around 60 lower court judges across the country.

University student stabbed

A private university student was stabbed by miscreants in front of his house in Khilgaon of the city last evening.

Indian art exhibition starts at DU

A weeklong art exhibition by artists of the Indian state of Tripura began at the Fine Arts faculty of Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.

Housewife set ablaze for dowry

A teenage housewife with severe burn injuries fights for her life after her husband allegedly set her ablaze at their Tongi residence on the city's outskirts Friday.

Shushasthya project launched

The newly-floated Development Care Foundation, a non- profitable social organisation launched a new health initiative titled 'Shushasthya' (sound health) with basic objective to ensure health promotion and disease prevention through creation of health literacy among the community at village Mohammadpur, Bairag of Anwara upazilla on Friday.

Fire in CU forestry

A fire broke out in the forest of Kata Pahar on Chittagong University campus yesterday.

Bangabandhu's birthday observed in Washington DC

The 91st birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the National Children's Day were observed at Bangladesh High Commission in Washington DC on March 17 with due respect.

National

'Say indigenous, not ethnic people in constitution'

Indigenous people across the country yesterday rejected a parliamentary committee's decision to give them constitutional recognition as 'ethnic groups' and urged the government to consider them as 'indigenous people'.

No charge sheet yet

The law enforcers are yet to submit the charge sheet a year after the gruesome killing of Sylhet Government Women's College teacher Harun Ur Rashid.

22 killing grounds in Satkhira lie neglected

At least 22 killing grounds (Bodhyabhumi), where hundreds of Bangalees were massacred by the Pakistan occupation forces during the War of Liberation in 1971 here are lying neglected even after 40 years of independence of the country.

Charges to be framed today against 21 mutineers

The special court-12 will frame charges against 21 mutineers of 39 Battalion under Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in Chapainawabganj today.

21 shops gutted

At least 21 shops were gutted in a fire at a market in Mithamoin upazila yesterday.

Adulterated fertiliser seized, 3 arreted

District Task Force members early yesterday arrested three people including owner of a fertiliser factory and seized one truck-load of adulterated fertiliser.

Sister beaten to death

A woman was beaten to death allegedly by her elder brother centering a family feud at Leshiara village under Kasba upazila yesterday. The dead was identified as Chhaya Rani Das, 35, daughter of Horendro Das of Leshiara Uttarpara village. According to villagers, Uttam Das became furious following an altercation between him and his younger sister Chhaya Rani Das. At on stage, Uttam started beating Chhaya Rani with a bamboo stick and Chhaya died on the way to hospital. On information, police from Kasba PS rushed to the spot but Uttam fled the scene. Police sent the body to Brahmanbaria Sadar Hospital for autopsy.

Jubo League leader attacked

A Jubo League leader was hacked by some activists of local Jubo Dal at Kazir Pagla Bazaar in Louhajang upazila on Friday. OC Subrato Kumar Saha said a group led by Jubo Dal president Khalil of Ward no 6 of Medinimandal attacked Jubo League leader Qamrul Islam of the same ward by sharp weapons when he was going to the bazaar, leaving him injured. Qamrul was admitted to a local health complex.

Stalker beaten up, fined

A stalker was beaten by mob and later fined Tk 5,000 by a mobile court for teasing a schoolgirl at Madhapara village in Sundarganj upazila yesterday. Local people caught Shafiqul Hasan Jinnah of the same village and gave him a good beating as he continued to tease schoolgirl Ferdousi Begum, a student of class nine on her way to school. On Saturday morning, when the victim went to a nearby pond for taking bath Shafiqul sexually harassed her. As the victim cried for help, locals caught Shafiqul red-handed and took him to the mobile court led by Sundarganj UNO.

BNP office ransacked

District BNP office of Kurigram was ransacked allegedly by BCL cadres on Friday. Office secretary of the district BNP Ashraful Haque Rubel said following a quarrel between activists of Chhatra League and activists of Swechhashebak Dal near Kurigram Sadar Hospital gate, the BCL men attacked the district BNP office at night. They broke doors, windows, television and furniture of the office. They also hit convener of the district Hindu Welfare Parishad Drejendra Nath Shah with a billhook injuring him seriously. President of the district Chhatra League Minhajul Abedin however refuted the allegation.

Letters

Resilient Japanese

I stood dumbfounded watching on TV the severest temblor (8.9 on the Richter Scale) to hit Japan during the past 140 years since it began keeping record of tremors.

Commodity prices

The recent price hike has certainly irked the ruling party government. The general masses are also suffering a great deal for the upward surge of the commodity price. Prices of oil and rice have already gone beyond the reach of the lower-middle class people of our country. The middle-class is also finding it difficult to keep pace with the market price of the daily necessaries. To curb this annoying problem, the government should reform the regulatory bodies to make them effective to supervise the market situation. The regulatory teams should also observe the market closely and calibrate price lists acceptable to both the customers and traders. Creating a price list somehow or other has not been of any use. Consumers' Association of Bangladesh, CAB, should also play active roles to uphold the interest of the customers. As an average consumer has nearly no clout over the price of commodities, the government must take organized measures to regulate market prices and make the lives of civilians a little easier.

Fatwa based killings

Fatwa has now become an ugly word, as it is associated with the recent cruelty causing the death of a young girl, coming from a needy family. The excesses being carried out in the name of 'Fatwa' pronounced by illiterate persons, whose knowledge of Islamic thoughts and philosophy is often extremely scant, needs to be stopped!

Marine environment & organic agriculture

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) recently revealed in its annual Year Book that tons of throw-away plastic and massive runoff from chemical fertiliser are choking the world's oceans. The report stressed on the need for adopting urgent measures to protect the marine environments which has already experienced significant damages due to over-exploitation and acidification caused by the climate change.Time has come when countries all over the world need to take individual initiatives to control environmental pollutions due to industrial wastes and agricultural chemicals. Switching on to organic agriculture can significantly reduce the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides which harm the overall environment including the marine environment. Proper industrial and general waste management, recycling of plastic and other materials can help control the environmental pollution caused by these elements. In all the cases, governments have to design an institutional set-up to regulate, for instance, organic agricultural system, because refraining from the use of synthetic agricultural inputs does not merely mean organic agriculture. It requires an appropriate farming system, certification of organic products, etc. to run organic agriculture.

Pepper spray as a self defense mechanism

Stalking, harassing and killing of girls continue unabated despite condemnation and concerns expressed by many. The girls and their parents are completely helpless in the face of such harassment despite assurances for help by the law enforcers.

Bizarre attitude

There is a proverb, "Nijer naak kete porer jatra bhango kora." I think nothing could be more appropriate concerning what is happening with Nobel Prize winner Prof. Yunus.

France and Italy should save Libyans

Any American intervention in Libya will raise the accusation that the imperialist Americans are trying to control Libya's vast oil resources. As such, President Barack Obama has been wise not to intervene militarily, despite the Libyan rebels are being slaughtered by Gaddafi's African mercenaries. But if all other nations stand by, Gaddafi will crush the opposition in the same way Burma's military junta crushed the popular revolt in that Asian country. As such, the international community will have to find a way out from this impasse. One solution will be to prod France and Italy to send a joint military contingent to stop the massacre of Libyans by Gaddafi's forces. A joint Franco-Italian contingent will be enough to defeat Gaddafi's mercenaries. Once Gaddafi is defeated, the United Nations should organise a general election and help the country to build democratic institutions. This way, Libya will be liberated without any American intervention.

Libya scene

While the battles rage in Libya, calls are growing on the international community to impose a no-fly zone to cripple Gaddafi's air force, the reality is “there's a lot of, frankly, loose talk about some of these military options, and let's just call a spade a spade. A no-fly zone begins with an attack on Libya to destroy the air defenses." (Secretary of Defense Robert Gates)

Four Hadiths

I often remember Imam Abu Daud (R)--one of the six-purest Hadith book writers--who took just four Hadiths as the fundamental code of his life. The four Hadiths are as follows:

Taxing the people

I would rather like to term this action of the government as dacoity in broad day light. The party in power has imposed this arbitrary tax on the owners of motor vehicles of the country, which is on top of Motor Vehicle Tax and Fitness Tax, saying that this tax would be adjusted at the time of submitting Tax Returns. The BNP government, did away with this Tax, which was imposed by the party in power when it came to power the last time. This Tax used to be Tk.3, 000 now it has been raised to Tk.8, 000 an increase by Tk.5,000. The government is further contemplating to impose property tax on those who own property, which I believe is again going to be on top of all kinds of existing taxes that goes with the property.

BCS tragedy

“Believe it or not, I qualified in the BCS examination not by reading but by leaking the question papers and by political connection. So I know a little English. Throughout my student life I yielded weapons as a cadre so if you want to learn that, come to me” said one of the government college English teachers to the students without feeling any compunction. I personally know about many BCS Cadres who find comfortable mixing with drunkards and miscreants rather than with the enlightened. Then to confirm my conviction came the report-“A total of 3295 (20.11%) of candidates appearing at the 18th BCS examination (held in 1996-97) got zero in English, even though some of them qualified for BCS posts”.

It's not easy for US

The logical and sensible essay by Quddus published on 22nd. February, along with his sincere advice to Obama; is easier said than done! It expresses his thoughts on M-E liberty, but may not coincide with US ground realities. Possibly, President Obama is at a disadvantage, for taking a realistic and rational decision; for more reasons than one. Middle East regimes are clearly either for or against USA; which will give all support for setting up democracy in Syria; but will that hold true for Saudi Arabia?

Ensure pure water

More than ten million people depend on water supplied by Dhaka WASA. In Dhaka, water for construction work, for washing, for bathing, for cooking food, for drinking is supplied by Dhaka WASA. No one can lift water even from nature's gift underground without special permission from and charge given to WASA. It is a government enterprise and managed by a board that is formed by LGRD Ministry. The BSTI and Directorate of Environment of the government over look the phenomena of contaminated water supply by Saydabad water treatment plant of WASA.

Is it the power plants?

On 14th February The Daily Star carried a very pathetic picture - a woman is crying embracing her child. It reminds us about the poor victims of Sidr and Aila in our country. In fact, the recent earthquake of Japan is terrible news for all Asians. Japan is very prone to natural disasters like earthquakes.

University degrees in English medium

The print and electronic media carry a large number of advertisements on the courses offered in the schools, colleges and universities. But there is no mention of English-medium university courses.

Notice

Dear readers,

International

Gaddafi defiant as fighting tears Libyan rebel stronghold

Fighting raged around Libya's rebel stronghold of Benghazi yesterday as Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gave a defiant response to world leaders planning military action against him.

Obama heads to Latin America

US President Barack Obama left behind a week wracked by disaster and war late Friday, launching a five-day tour of Latin America, a region showing fresh potential after its own years of turmoil.

After Congress, BJP hit by WikiLeaks disclosure

BJP was hit by the WikiLeaks stating that the party leadership had told them that its criticism of the US in public was to score "easy political points" against UPA and when in power, it would not harm the Indo-US nuclear deal.

Protesters defy state of emergency

Yemen seethed with anger yesterday as medics raised the death toll from a sniper attack on protesters to 52 and thousands rallied despite a state of emergency imposed by the autocratic regime.

5.9 quake hits south of Japan nuke plant

A 5.9 magnitude earthquake rattled Japan's Ibaraki Prefecture south of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant yesterday, the US Geological Survey said, but no tsunami warning was issued.

Japan opposition rejects unity govt: Media

Japan's prime minister was rebuffed yesterday when he asked the conservative opposition to join his government as it grapples with a natural disaster and a nuclear crisis, media said.

Egyptians vote on constitutional changes

US President Barack Obama encountered demands from Brazil yesterday for a bigger role in the UN Security Council as he began a Latin American visit shadowed by a military showdown with Libya.

Former US secretary of state Warren Christopher dies

US secretary of state Warren Christopher, instrumental in negotiating peace in the ex-Yugoslavia and moving forward the Middle East peace process, has died at the age of 85, US media reported yesterday.

Libya says neighbours will respond to foreign attack

Libya's deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaaim warned yesterday that any foreign intervention would prompt Libya's neighbours to rally behind Muammar Gaddafi, in an interview with BBC radio.

Pakistan court gives police extra week on Musharraf

A Pakistani court yesterday gave prosecutors one more week to serve an arrest warrant on former president Pervez Musharraf over the murder of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, court officials said.

15 refugees die as fire engulfs village in northeast India

At least 15 people died and more than a dozen others were injured when fire raced through a village in India's remote northeast, officials said.

Thai PM wins no-confidence vote

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva survived a no-confidence motion yesterday brought by opposition lawmakers seeking to inflict damage ahead of upcoming elections.

Gaddafi forces defy ceasefire

Fighting raged around Libya's rebel stronghold of Benghazi yesterday as Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gave a defiant response to world leaders planning military action against him.

NATIONS READY TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST LIBYA

FRANCE
French war planes were overflying the rebel bastion of Benghazi yesterday, preventing Gaddafi's air strikes, and were ready to attack his tanks threatening civilians, said President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Death, missing toll nears 20,000

The number of people confirmed dead or listed as missing in Japan neared 20,000 yesterday, eight days after the massive earthquake and tsunami struck.

"They want to seize Libya's oil,"

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said yesterday that international military action against Libya amounts to an oil grab by Western powers.

Japan opposition rejects unity govt: Media

Japan's prime minister was rebuffed yesterday when he asked the conservative opposition to join his government as it grapples with a natural disaster and a nuclear crisis, media said.

Arts & Entertainment

A Musical High

Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre (IGCC), High Commission of India, Dhaka arranged a solo Hindustani classical vocal music recital at National Theatre Hall of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) on March 18.

Runa Laila Sings for Underprivileged Children

The Zonta Club of Dhaka III, an organisation with the motto “advancing the status of women worldwide”, arranged a concert featuring the diva Runa Laila at the Grand Ballroom, Radisson Water Garden Hotel, Dhaka on March 18. The programme was a part of the club's wider efforts to raise funds for Shishu Bikash Kendro, a school for underprivileged children [mostly girls].

Folk Songs Leave Sylhet Audience Spellbound

'Shohojia Ashor', a session of folk and mystic songs, held at the Sylhet Auditorium on March 18 was widely appreciated by the audience. Shohojia Sylhet organised the event where two accomplished artistes presented songs of Lalon, Hason Raja, Radharaman, Jalal Uddin, Manmohan Dey, Shah Abdul Karim and others.

Cultural event to mark Bangabandhu's birth anniversary and National Children's Day

To mark Bangabandhu's 91st birth anniversary and National Children's Day, the Natore district administration and Bangladesh Shishu Academy, Natore jointly arranged an art competition for children at the local Shishu Academy on March 16.

Special programme at Jatiya Kobi Kazi Nazrul Islam University

Marking the 91st birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Jatiya Kobi Kazi Nazrul Islam University in Trishal organised painting and essay competitions at its Arts Faculty building on March 17.

Rooted Creativity-9 at Bengal Gallery

On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, Bengal Gallery of Fine Arts has organised a series of exhibitions, titled “Rooted Creativity”. The ninth instalment of the series will open on March 22 at Bengal Gallery in Dhanmondi, Dhaka. The exhibition will run till March 31.

Culture for Freedom

The ten-day Rajshahi Cultural Festival kicked off at Green Plaza of Nagar Bhaban here on March 17 with the slogan, “Culture for Freedom”.

OP-ED

Annus horribilis for Japan

Last week a massive earthquake hit the north-east coast of Japan's main island of Honshu. It triggered a tsunami of up to 30 feet high. This killed thousands, destroyed towns and caused big power outages. To date about 6,000 people have died and 10,000 are missing.

The terminal patient needs a doctor

The habitat of a government may have relocated from a palace to a hospital, but don't start the funeral prayers too soon. The fate of Dr. Manmohan Singh's coalition will not be determined by the number of wounds on its body, or indeed on the body politic, nor by the toxicity of the environment, but by the circumstances of a moment which has not yet arrived.

Surviving the worst earthquake in living memory

Returning to Tokyo after nearly a year upon conclusion of my almost four-year stint as Bangladesh Ambassador to Japan, in the last week of the wintry month of February, naturally made me feel very nostalgic.

The moveability of a supposedly immoveable object

I am sure you have heard of that rather amusing philosophical paradox, "What happens when an irresistible force meets an immoveable object?" We obviously do not know the answer to that paradox, but not because of lack of curiosity. Which leads me to query, what happens when a moveable object meets a resistible force? This is not a paradox; we actually do know the answer to this question. When a moveable object meets and greets a resistible force, a Nobel laureate gets dragged through the filth of a muddy political arena.

This Day In History

March 20
1602
The Dutch East India Company is established. It was the first multinational corporation in the world and the first company to issue stock.


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