The Daily Star

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Sunday, April 20, 2014


News of: Monday, 21st of March, 2011

Front Page

Warplanes pound Libyan defences

Western air strikes pounded Muammar Gaddafi's defences and allied warplanes patrolled Libyan skies yesterday, lifting the siege of Benghazi and allowing rebels to surge forward and retake lost ground.

Home in 3 days

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

Speaker upset

Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday decried the use of indecent and vulgar words in the House and said senior lawmakers should feel embarrassed about fellow parliamentarians, who use indecent words in speeches.

Letter ready for ministers, MPs

Ministers and lawmakers may be given letter today asking them to submit wealth statements to the Cabinet Division within 15 days, finance ministry sources have said.

Fate of 30,000 air-struck

The hope of an improved situation for around 30,000 Bangladeshis still in Libya has been shattered, as the international forces on Saturday began air strikes in various parts of the North African country to enforce a ceasefire.

Room still there for compromise

US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake yesterday said “there is still room for compromise” in resolving the issue arising from the removal of Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus as the Managing Director of Grameen Bank he founded.

Bhutto in Dhaka

Dr Kamal Hossain's recollections of the day, as also those of other days in March 1971, throw good light on the momentous events which were to lead to Bangladesh's emergence in December of the year. On the morning of March 21, Hossain was summoned by Bangabandhu. He found Mujib and Tajuddin engaged in a discussion. Bangabandhu informed Hossain that he had been giving serious thought to the matter of a transfer of power and had reached the conclusion that from a strategic point of view pressure should be exerted on the regime for a transfer of power to the provinces of Pakistan. The mood of the people of Bangladesh, Bangabandhu noted, was enough to convince him that it would not be right for the Awami League to take power at the centre and thereby form a government for the state of Pakistan.

21,000 dead or missing

The toll of dead or missing from Japan's worst natural disaster in nearly a century neared 21,000.

2 rental power plants open

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government has been making relentless efforts to increase the country's electricity generation aimed at encouraging foreign investors and resolving the nagging power crisis.

Party rivals kill BCL man

A local leader of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) was killed and three others were injured yesterday by a rival faction of the student body in Narail sadar upazila.

Arab League unhappy

Dissenting voices, including from the Arab League which had backed the no-fly zone, arose yesterday as the scale and method of "Operation Odyssey Dawn" became apparent.

India win & set up clash with Aussies

Yuvraj Singh scored his maiden World Cup century and took two wickets as India beat the West Indies by 80 runs on Sunday to set up a quarterfinal against defending champions Australia.

Mohiuddin panel wins BGMEA polls

A key panel known as Sammilito Parishad, led by Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, swept itself to Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) in the biennial polls yesterday. It won all the 27 posts of director.

Shah Alam lands in jail

A Dhaka court yesterday sent Bashundhara Group Chairman Ahmed Akbar Sobhan to jail in a tax evasion case in which he was earlier sentenced to eight years' imprisonment in absentia.

Royal gift for Bengal tigers

A part of the charitable gift fund to be collected on the occasion of royal wedding of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton would be spent on the conservation of Bengal Tigers of the Sundarbans.

Foreign secy resents Star editorial

Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes has resented an editorial of The Daily Star published yesterday that criticised the government's handling of the repatriation of Bangladeshis from Libya.

Sailors return home today

The 26 crew, freed by Somali pirates after 99 days of confinement on board the Bangladesh-flagged ship MV Jahan Moni, will arrive Chittagong from Oman this afternoon, a day ahead of the schedule.

Bahrain's main opposition groups ease demands

Bahrain's main opposition groups have eased conditions for talks to end a crisis that has drawn in neighbouring Gulf armies and raised tensions in the oil-exporting region.

Laws, policies not women friendly

The country's policies and laws are not friendly towards women and this is hindering the process of ensuring women's rights, speakers said at an inaugural ceremony of a workshop yesterday.

HC asks to stop Gumti river encroachment

The High Court yesterday directed the government to take steps immediately to stop earth filling and constructing structures in the river Gumti in Comilla and its encroachment until further order.

Seven DU students get awards

Faculty of Pharmacy of Dhaka University conferred Dean's Award to three students for their outstanding academic results in Bachelor of Pharmacy (honours) examination in 2009.

40yrs of independence, 20yrs of independent journalism

Dear readers, we are happy to provide you today with the third instalment of the 500-page supplement series marking the 20th anniversary of The Daily Star. Today's 48-page supplement focuses on “Economy and Development”. We hope you will find our effort worthy of your attention.

Editorial

Action against Gaddafi

Libya is under armed attack from the United States, United Kingdom and France. The action against Tripoli, mandated by a UN Security Council resolution, with significant abstentions has been taken to prevent the autocratic regime of Muammar Gaddafi from attacking and killing his own people, who have in these past few weeks made it clear that they want him out of power. For his part, Gaddafi has not helped matters any by vowing to show no mercy to those who have risen against him. His chilling warning that his forces will conduct house to house and room to room searches to locate his opponents has only demonstrated the desperate straits his people are in.

Public interest motions in JS

It is discomforting news that notices relating to matters of public interest are mostly rejected in the Jatiyo Sangsad. In the last two years more than four thousand motions have been rejected by the House. Even matters of serious issues like citizens' security, renovation of Dhaka-Chittagong highway and law and order situation etc., were not taken up.

Sports

Changes underway

It is normal practice that the authorities concerned and the cricket pundits will all take a long look into their project every four years. When goals are set, they are usually with one time frame in mind; in this case from one World Cup to another and accordingly a new plan and strategy will take place, so that one can go ahead with a new dream for their country.

Test Tigers with Tests

Some will say the World Cup was a moderate success for Bangladesh, while others will remember the global event for the ignominy of two sub-100 totals in the same tournament, an unfortunate feat that has been equalled only by Namibia in their only tournament till date. The fact remains, however, that the Cup is over, and the Tigers have missed a golden opportunity to do something special in a World Cup in front of their own crowds.

Sachin's to wait

Sachin Tendulkar's hopes of scoring his 100th international hundred in Sunday's World Cup clash against the West Indies ended in disappointment when he was dismissed for just two.

Hosts lose 3-0 again

Bangladesh women's football team ended their Olympic pre-qualifiers with a second successive defeat losing to Uzbekistan 3-0 at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Bangladesh face Palestine today

Bangladesh will begin their AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers campaign today taking on Palestine in the opening match of Group B at the Youth Training Centre ground in Yangon, Myanmar.

QF tickets from today

Tickets of the quarterfinal matches of the ICC Cricket World Cup will be available for collection at Mirpur Shaheed Sohrawardi Indoor Stadium from today.

Independence Day basketball

Bangladesh Navy pipped Flame Boys by 77-43 points in the opening match of the Independence Day Basketball Tournament 2011 at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnesium yesterday.

Independence Day kabaddi

Bangladesh Police defeated the Bangladesh Fire Service 57-11 with five creditable lonas in the opening match of the Independence Day Kabaddi Tournament at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday.

Learn from defeat, cautions Ponting

Ricky Ponting warned Australia on Sunday that the defending champions must learn the harsh lessons of their shattering defeat to Pakistan if they want to stay in the World Cup.

Ricky not the one to walk

Australia captain Ricky Ponting reignited the walking debate at the World Cup after admitting he stood his ground despite knowing he had been caught behind in his team's defeat to Pakistan.

England, the no-go team

Ian Bell believes England's unpredictability means they are a side none of their rivals will want to face in the knockout stages of the World Cup.

Waqar credits Gul

Coach Waqar Younis hailed Pakistan's hard-fought four-wicket win over Australia as a major achievement on Sunday and picked out seamer Umar Gul as the star of the show.

Tuffey comes in for Bennett

Hamish Bennett, the New Zealand fast bowler, has been ruled out of the World Cup due to an injury to his ankle and Achilles tendon. Seamer Daryl Tuffey, who had been called up as a standby for an injured Kyle Mills, will take Bennett's place in the XV.

Mediocrity Rules, Ok

Another bubble burst again, the resounding crash as loud as the one heard when the stock market collapsed. But the two had so much in common; a total disregard by all and sundry stakeholders of the fundamentals of the stocks, and in the case of the significant other, our national cricket team. The meltdown was waiting to happen, if we had just cared to be a little more attentive we should have seen it coming a mile away. But impressionable millions chose either to ignore the signs or were simply incapable of distinguishing silly point from serious short leg. By piling on unwarranted expectations on themselves, the general public put themselves on board for a ride which transpired to be the biggest scam of them all. What it did provide in the end was an easy way out for the beleaguered captain of our side to pass the proverbial buck. Pressure, did we hear him say? Of course there was, and plenty of it. If the debacle is unacceptable, let us be man enough to admit it was as much a failure of countless millions to understand the true worth of this team, as it was for the players to have been so inept and incompetent at this level of the game.

Zim crush Kenya

Craig Ervine, Vusimuzi Sibanda and Tatenda Taibu cracked impressive half-centuries to set up Zimbabwe's crushing 161-run victory over hapless Kenya in their final World Cup match on Sunday.

Zimbabwe can't wait to play Tests again

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said Sunday that his country's return to Test cricket after a six-year absence would help the players become more competitive.

Afridi thanks bowlers

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi praised his bowlers for his side's momentous World Cup win over Australia, but admitted shamefacedly that he got out to an irresponsible shot in the run chase.

Real, Barca move ahead

Real Madrid continued their 12-year dominance of neighbours Atletico Madrid with a narrow 2-1 win at the Vicente Calderon on Saturday to close to within five points of Spanish league leaders Barcelona.

MU move five clear

Ten-man Manchester United moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League as Dimitar Berbatov's late goal clinched a 1-0 win over Bolton on Saturday.

Palermo stun Milan

Palermo stunned AC Milan 1-0 on Saturday to end a run of five straight defeats and blow the Serie A title race wide open.

Robben out of Euro qualifiers

Bayern Munich midfielder Arjen Robben has been ruled out of the Netherlands squad for two Euro 2012 qualifiers against Hungary later this month through injury, his German club said Sunday.

Reina hints at Reds exit

Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina has hinted he could quit Liverpool unless the Premier League club signs several top-class players next season, according to a report Sunday.

Sentence served

England manager Fabio Capello restored John Terry as his permanent captain for the third time after saying the Chelsea defender had learned from his off-field mistakes.

Business

Govt takes up $7.98b food security plan

The government will invest $7.98 billion to ensure food security in the next five years under a Country Investment Plan (CIP).

Bangladesh not on ADB list of Asian leaders

Bangladesh has failed to manage a place on the list of eight Asian countries, which will drive the growth of the continent in the next four decades.

Key panel boycotts BGMEA polls

Amid boycott by a key panel, Sammilito Parishad led by Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin won all the 27 posts in the biennial election of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) held simultaneously in Dhaka and Chittagong yesterday.

Bangladesh to get more focus as agriculture feels climate impact

Bangladesh's case as an agrarian economy susceptible to climate change is expected to get greater projection, courtesy of a global initiative launched on March 11.

New director for SME Foundation

Fahmida Khatun, head of research at Centre for Policy Dialogue, has recently been elected as director of SME Foundation, said a statement yesterday.

Ship industry council to be formed: Barua

A ship industry promotion council will be formed for the expansion of the shipbuilding industry, said the industries minister in Chittagong yesterday.

DSE turnover hits two-month high

Turnover on the Dhaka Stock Exchange hit a two-month high yesterday as high investor participation pulled trade volume up. Daily turnover on the prime bourse stood at Tk 1,524.38 crore, up Tk 181.30 crore from the previous day.

HSBC to award top exporters

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) Bangladesh for the second consecutive year will honour five exporters for their outstanding performances in 2010.

Microsoft picks Starcom for leading ad role

Microsoft Corp has awarded the lion's share of its $1 billion-plus annual advertising budget to Publicis Groupe's Starcom unit, in a blow to incumbent agency Universal McCann.

Angry Birds developer takes aims at New York IPO

Rovio, the developer of the "Angry Birds" mobile game, plans a US initial public offering in the next five years, a move that could give investors a chance to tap into the fastest growing segment of the video game industry.

Zain to sign Saudi operations stake sale next week

Kuwaiti telecoms operator Zain will sign a preliminary contract to sell a stake in affiliate Zain Saudi for $950 million by early next week, a Zain source told Reuters on Sunday.

Staying true to roots

World-famous designer Jimmy Choo may have come a long way since working in his family's humble shoemaking business in Malaysia, but he never forgot his dad's dedication to perfect footwear.

Nepal sisterhood tackles lecherous trekking guides

When Nepal's Chhetri sisters started their all-female trekking agency in the mid-1990s, the idea was so alien to local people that many thought it must be a cover story for a brothel.

Economic aftershocks of Japan quake roil Asia

Economic aftershocks of the devastation in Japan are rolling through Asia. It is here, among Japan's neighbours, that the reverberations of the catastrophe are being felt hardest.

IT for SMEs

Clicking the mouse on a desktop computer or learning how to browse may sound amateurish to growing IT users in Bangladesh. But for the 120 entrepreneurs at a training centre in Dhaka, this was a novel experience.

SME Foundation, AIUB hunt for business plans

The SME Foundation has joined hands with American International University of Bangladesh (AIUB) as part of the state-run agency's efforts to create more enterprises and entrepreneurs to foster faster economic growth.

ASA takes up primary education project

ASA, a leading microfinance institution, has started the 'Primary Education Strengthening Programme' for students from poor families.

Radiation discovery fans food fears in Japan

At a bustling Tokyo supermarket Sunday, wary shoppers avoided one particular bin of spinach.

Gates, Buffett bid to open rich Indians' wallets

Two of the world's richest men, software pioneer Bill Gates and investor Warren Buffett, are set to visit India this week to persuade the country's super-wealthy to part with more of their cash.

China calls for equal market access overseas

China's Minister of Commerce Chen Deming on Sunday urged foreign governments to improve their investment environment and provide equal access for Chinese investors, state media reported.

Vietnam seeks to cure growth 'addiction'

Vietnam is looking to balance its long-standing "addiction" to growth with measures to stabilise the troubled economy, but its success depends on restoring public confidence, analysts say.

Europe polishes response to year-long debt crisis

Europe's leaders put the finishing touches to their response to a year-long debt crisis this week, as financial strain in Portugal threatens a third bailout after Greece and Ireland.

Corporate Briefs

PHP FIRST MUTUAL FUND
The fund reported net asset value of Tk 9.27 per unit on current market price and Tk 10.28 per unit on cost price against face value of Tk 10 on the close of operation on March 16. Total net assets stood at Tk 1,854,896,038.27 on market price and Tk 2,055,784,917.81 on cost price after considering all assets and liabilities.

Metropolitan

Don't dispose waste into rivers: Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the owners of industries not to dispose of industrial waste in rivers for the sake of protecting environment.

Build institutions outside capital

President Zillur Rahman has called upon the patrons of learning and industrial entrepreneurs to build institutions of education and industries outside the capital city, prioritising open environment and infrastructure facilities.

Khaleda leaves for S Arabia

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia left for Saudi Arabia last night on a 10-day visit during which she will have medical treatment and perform Umrah.

Road crashes kill 8

A teenage day labourer and two women workers were killed in separate accidents in the city on Saturday and yesterday.

19.42 lakh cases pending

More than 17 lakh cases have been disposed of in two years of the present government while 19.42 lakh more remain pending at different courts, the law minister told parliament yesterday.

Judgement tomorrow

High Court (HC) yesterday fixed tomorrow for delivering judgement on the writ petitions challenging the trial of Colonel Abu Taher and some other freedom fighters through a military tribunal in 1976.

10 hurt in gun attack on fair

At least 10 people were injured, with two sustaining bullet injuries, as criminals opened fire at a local fair in Ramgorh upazila of Khagrachhari Hill district Saturday night.

Climate scientists' meet ends

A three-day meeting between international climate scientists on Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report ended Friday at Brac Centre in Savar.

HC asks govt for SC judges' remuneration

The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the government to explain within three weeks why it should not be directed to implement recommendations of the parliamentary sub-committee concerned to increase salaries and allowance of Supreme Court judges.

Muggers snatch Tk 7.5 lakh

Muggers stabbed an employee of a furniture store and made away with Tk 7.5 lakh at Dholaipar of the city's Shyampur yesterday.

Biman's flight for refugees

Biman Bangladesh will operate one flight everyday from today to repatriate around 2,000 Bangladeshis stranded in Ras Jdir, border point of Libya-Tunisia.

Pro-AL panel sweeps AIB poll

Pro-Awami League (AL) panel swept the election of Agriculturalist Institution, Bangladesh (AIB), securing all 27 posts of its central executive committee for 2011-12.

50 freedom fighters also stand by Prof Yunus

Some freedom fighters expressed disappointment over the removal of Prof Muhammad Yunus from Grameen Bank and demanded a peaceful and honourable transfer.

272 gas connections cut off

Titas Gas Transmission and Distribution Company Ltd disconnected 272 unauthorised gas connections in Dhaka and its adjacent areas.

IAB submits memo on fatwa to CJ

Leaders of Islami Andolan Bangladesh (IAB) yesterday submitted a memorandum to Chief Justice ABM Khairul Haque, requesting him to cancel the High Court (HC) verdict that declared fatwa (religious edict) illegal.

Country to face dire consequences if govt fails: Ershad

Jatiya Party (JP) Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said the country would face dire consequences if the Awami League (AL)-led grand alliance fails to run it.

Hearing adjourned till April 7

A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned the hearing on charge framing against Arafat Rahman Koko, youngest son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, till April 7 in connection with a tax evasion case.

Case against Huda couple quashed

The High Court yesterday acquitted former BNP minister Nazmul Huda and his wife Sigma Huda in a bribery case in which they were convicted and sentenced to different terms of imprisonment.

National

Vast areas flooded as dyke collapses

Tidal water yesterday marooned at least 300 landless families at three villages of Sukhchar union under Hatiya upazila.

Students on fast unto death

The agitating students of food technology and nutritional science (FTNS) department of Maolana Bhasani University of Science and Technology (MBUST) yesterday started fast unto death on Tangail Shaheed Minar premises to realise their five-point demands including BSc (Engineering) degree instead of BSc (Honours) degree.

Charges against 21 mutineers framed in Chapainawabganj

The special court-12 yesterday framed charges against 21 jawans of 39 Battalion under Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) for their involvement in the mutiny at the battalion headquarters in Chapainawabganj on February 26, 2009.

8 held, Shahidul's gun seized

Police on Saturday night arrested eight people as suspects for interrogation in connection with the murder of Fakir Imran Hossain, general secretary of Terokheda upazila unit of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL).

Transport workers on indefinite strike in Satkhira

Transport workers went on an indefinite strike on all eight routes of the district yesterday protesting the filing of a 'false' case against two leaders of truck workers' union.

From hell to fresh air

Victim of inhuman torture by the employer in Khulna city for the last six months, a nine-year-old domestic help has at last managed to flee the ordeal.

Three outlaws arrested

Three operatives of outlawed Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) Red Flag faction was arrested at Krishnapur village of Ataikula yesterday.

Letters

The Japan tragedy

The disaster in Japan is of such a magnitude that one gasps with horror and disbelief. The massive earthquake and the tsunami that followed have leveled many parts of Japan, killed thousands of people, and injured thousand others. How unfortunate! We can easily imagine the mental condition of the Japanese people. Our prayers are with them, may the situation come under control and spare them from further hardships!

This enmity must go

I read with interest the column 'this enmity must go' by Mr. Mohammad Ali Sattar. I have also written a number of articles on this subject. In my weekly column in 'Janakontho' on Tuesday on 8 March on stone- throwing at the bus carrying the West Indies players, I made some brief references at the massive vandalism by some of our student's .at Dhaka University campus three days earlier. I have also been watching with distress the reckless conduct of a section of our surface transport sector workers, all under the direct patronage of our Shipping Minister, who is at the same time the President of the transport workers. He condones, rather encourages, the transport workers to vandalize the BRTC buses. He wants the BRTC buses to stop operation so that the private bus owner can loot the helpless passengers without even the slightest of competition from any quarters, not even from Railway either. About 10 months ago, this Minister persuaded the Communications Minister to restrict the services of BRTC buses in many places of the country. Daily 'Janakontho' published a long story on this subject only last 15 March in its first page. I consider these two Ministers are working against the interests of the poor passengers, and all in the interest of the private bus owners. In an otherwise good piece Mr.Sattar have missed this point. Thanks for the column all the same.

Second-rate performance of our cricketers

In a sport there is always a win or defeat, but we don't expect our team to lose matches by huge margin. We, the Bangladeshi cricket fans, find these two defeats against the West Indies and South Africa a hard pill to swallow. These two defeats were hugely upsetting for all the fans and it will take years for us to forget the painful memories. Shakib Al Hasan should spend more time in cricket rather than talking big during interview sessions, and on many occasions he seemed over-confident. Tamim played the most disappointing cricket and could never come up with big scores. In fact, his performance was awful. I hope Jamie Siddons will ponder on the performances of our cricketers and find out what exactly went wrong. But our bowlers did really well.

Abandon nuke power plant project

Recently, Bangladesh signed an accord with Russia to set up a nuclear power plant in Rooppur. In view of the recent accidents (still uncontrolled) with the nuclear power plants in Japan after the earthquake and tsunami, I suggest that the Bangladesh government abandon the idea of setting up the plant because of the following reasons: Firstly, Bangladesh is in high risk of earthquake. Secondly, we are not so technologically developed like Japan to cope (still to be seen) with a similar situation. And thirdly, Bangladesh is such a small country (radius hardly about 135 miles) that in case of such radiation hazard, people will not be able to move to safer places. As such we should stick to the other traditional methods of generating power.

Discriminatory BCS quota system

After the result of 29th BCS has been published, the Quota system has become the most talked about issue across the country. The question has arisen in our mind whether the present quota system is justified in the present context of the country where thousands of brilliant students are still unemployed. A meritorious student has to attend the exams twice or thrice to become a BCS cadre while less meritorious students are getting chance easily using quota facilities. This is injustice to the meritorious students. To build a powerful nation there is no alternative to merit. It is high time the present govt. started to think about the reshuffle of present quota system lowering it to 10 percent. I urge the people of all walks of life, especially the university students to raise their voice against this discriminatory quota system. The present govt. should look into the case with due attention.

No-fly zone over Libya

It is unbelievable that the West is being prodded to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya. This is an Arab and an African issue. Why are not the Arabs and the Africans enforcing it? It is not because they don't have the resources; it's the will that is missing! The Arab League, the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and African Union are all lame duck organisations that provide high-profile jobs to favourites who will guarantee the security of their patrons and vested interests, not the interests of the ordinary citizen, the poor and the downtrodden. This is not a recent phenomenon. The Palestine and Kashmir issues are still burning!

A matter of great public interest

During the last days of the colonial period to prevent the water-logging of a large area of the then Brahmanbaria sub-division, created due to siltation of the river Titas, N.M. Khan ICS,SDO took the initiative to dig the Anderson canal, named after the then Governor of Bengal. This saved a vast acreage of land from constant flooding, thereby enabling the people of the area to achieve great agricultural output.

Dr. Yunus' image

I think the best thing for Dr. Yunus would have been to resign even before all these so-called allegations were being conjured up by different organisations and politicians. I am sure he was not planning to run the bank as its' MD into perpetuity. I am also sure if he has spent the last several decades in organising the Grameen Bank, then he has also structured it in such a way that it would run even without him.

Role of Islamic Foundation

I don't see Islamic Foundation of Bangladesh playing any role in removing misconceptions associated with Islam or preventing torture in the name of religion. The foreign scholars are doing a much better job. I am ashamed of the fact that despite the existence of Islamic Foundation, we have to write letters/articles to clarify various Islamic injunctions. The only time I see Islamic Foundation active is during Shab-e-Baraat with one day's elaborate plans of “righteousness.” How has this prevented the misuse of fatwa? Islamic Foundation of Bangladesh should take up long-term projects to eliminate ignorance and produce good human beings.

Attention: Election Commission

The UP elections schedule has been announced on 24th February. But it is a matter of regret that many of us have not yet received the national ID cards. We, the inhabitants of Araihazar, are facing problems for this. Our photos were taken in 2009. After that, 18 months have passed. But we have not got the ID cards yet. Can we vote without our ID cards in the UP elections? If not, then we urge the authorities to give our national ID cards soon.

Muslim women are everywhere

The idea that Muslim women are oppressed is preposterous. There are 1.57 billion Muslims. Out of them, millions are women. Are they all “oppressed”? If Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) wanted to subjugate women, why would he say “It is only the generous in character who is good to women, and only the evil one who insults them?” Let us not forget that Khadeejah, wife of the Prophet (pbuh), was a successful businesswoman. Jobs for women such as driving, encouraged by Islam ages back, are recently making way into the “modern” civilisation and being welcomed as empowerment of women. The Qur'an has also prohibited female infanticide. Muslim women are everywhere, studying, working and contributing to the society. Therefore, if you want to be fair, ask a Muslim woman how she feels, not BBC or CNN.

See the writing on the wall

The government is out to remove every kind of thorns from its way. This government dreads everybody who has temerity to burn bright dispelling the dark of the society. So, Dr. Yunus who made us proud by winning the Nobel Peace Prize is a blood sucker in the eye of Sheikh Hasina, but when Chhatra League cadres extract juice from the already shrunken general people by racketeering, they become golden boys. How much money has the govt. squandered in name changing game? Hundreds of opposition leaders and activists are languishing in jail on ridiculous charges while the genuine murderers, rapists, land grabbers involved with the ruling party are being freed and absolved from all cases against them. How long will the govt. be able to deceive the people? A storm of anger is brewing somewhere ready to erupt. Won't they heed and see the writing on the wall?

DV lottery deception

Diversity Visa (DV) lottery is an opportunity of immigration given by the USA govt. for people throughout the world. So far, the recruitment process has been proved transparent and praiseworthy. People from different countries like Bangladesh, India, Nepal, etc. are getting chance to go to America safely. But some unscrupulous persons are deceiving people using the name of DV lottery. Hacking the e-mail addresses of several people, those cheats are sending fake messages of DV visa affirmation. The e-mail messages sent by those frauds offer “permanent” resident card only for $681! The govt. must come forward to solve the matter. And the media should also come forward to make people aware about this deception.

Readers respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star report headlined “Khaleda, Blake shares same view”

Notice

Dear readers,

International

Gaddafi vows a 'long war'

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said all Libya's people have been armed and are ready to fight a "long war" to defeat Western forces attacking his country, in a televised audio message yesterday.

Gaddafi assault on Benghazi killed 94

At least 94 people were killed in an assault launched two days ago on the rebel-held Libyan city of Benghazi by forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, medics and AFP correspondents said yesterday.

Japan's efforts to ease nuke crisis suffer setback

An unexpected rise in pressure inside a troubled reactor set back efforts to bring Japan's overheating, leaking nuclear complex under control yesterday as concerns grew that as-yet minor contamination of food and water is spreading.

Yemen army urged to ignore orders, minister quits

Muslim clerics urged Yemeni soldiers to disobey orders and a third minister resigned after the gunning down of more than 50 protesters calling for an end to President's Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule.

N Koreans told to use pets as quake warning

North Korea advised its citizens yesterday to use their pets as an early-warning system for earthquakes, amid heightened fears following Japan's quake-tsunami disaster.

Gaddafi feeling world's 'unified will'

Embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is feeling the "unified will" of the international community through the military campaign launched against his forces in Libya, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said here yesterday.

Arab League criticises Libya strikes

The Arab League yesterday criticised Western military strikes on Libya, a week after urging the United Nations to slap a no-fly zone on the oil-rich North African state.

Strikes stem from confusion

Western coalition strikes stem from a "big misunderstanding" about the nature of Libya's rebellion, Muammar Gaddafi's son said yesterday, claiming the rebels were "gangsters" and "terrorists."

Polls open in Haiti's presidential runoff

Polls opened early yesterday in Haiti's runoff presidential elections as voters began choosing between a popular singer and a former first lady as the country's next leader.

Strong quake hits off Philippines, moderate rocks Taiwan

A 6.4-magnitude earthquake hit off the northern coast of the Philippines yesterday, local seismologists said, but there were no immediate reports of any damage or casualties.

Iran casts 'doubts' on Western aims in Libya

Iran backs the revolt against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi but "doubts" the aims of Western powers pummelling the country with air strikes, the foreign ministry spokesman said yesterday.

Two Gazans shot dead by Israel

Palestinian medical officials said yesterday they had found two bodies southeast of Gaza City, apparently shot by Israeli troops a day earlier.

Arts & Entertainment

Nurturing Bengali Cultural Nationalism

Dr. Sanjida Khatun [along with the late Waheedul Haq and many others] is one of the principal architects and leaders of the Bengali cultural nationalist movement in this country. Along with Haq and other comrades, she founded the Bangladesh Mukti Sangrami Shangsthan and Chhayanaut -- a centre for research, teaching and promotion of Rabindra Sangeet and Bengali performing art forms.

Roksana Khatun emerges as the Garbo of Bangladesh

The grand finale of the musical talent hunt for garment workers, “Premier Bank Garbo Gao Pran Khuley Gao” [by BGMEA], was held on March 19 at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka.

Spring Festival in Pabna Ends

The traditional Spring Festival (Bashonto Utshab) concluded in Pabna on March 19. Supported by cultural organisations of the district, the Pabna district administration organised the two-day festival in the district headquarters. A rally was brought out from Pabna Town Hall premises on the opening day.

Reception Accorded to Litterateurs

Noted litterateurs Syed Shamsul Haq, Hasan Azizul Haque and dance teacher Bazlar Rahman Badal were accorded a warm reception on March 18 in the course of the 10-day Rajshahi Culture Festival.

Zack Snyder Explains Choosing Henry Cavill for Superman Role

One drawback in making comic book movies, particularly those that involve one of the most recognisable characters of all time, is that no matter how excited fans are about the project, the people involved with the film aren't allowed to talk about it.

OP-ED

No-fly zone is no solution to Libyan crisis

Like the recent uprisings in the North Africa and the Middle Eastern countries, the Libyan popular revolt against Muammar Gaddafi's dictatorial regime is also leaderless and amorphous. That is the basic weakness of the Libyan popular rebellion against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's more than four decades long rule. The common thread running through this Arab-African political phenomenon is that in all the countries where the uprising has taken place have been under a dictator. And all the countries that have seen such popular revolt so far have or had been ruled by pro-Western dictators. But Libya's case is somewhat different. Gaddafi was never known for his pro-Western stance. On the contrary, he had been violently anti-American and anti-West. But in the post-Cold War era context, he has been compelled to call an uneasy truce with America and the rest of the West. Pre-Cold War era anti-West third or second world dictators are now a few in number. So, like before, he is hardly able to use anti-West tirades to keep his followings intact. Naturally, though he is fuming and frothing against the UN Security Council's (UNSC) resolution 1973 to create a no-fly zone over Libya, overwhelmingly with North America and Western Europe's and ostensibly with Arab countries' support, Russia and China conveniently remaining noncommittal, Gaddafi had to lick the dust by at least verbally agreeing to go by the UNSC resolution by enforcing a ceasefire. But on the ground, he is trying to mobilise the military loyal to him to surreptitiously grab as much rebel-held areas as possible.

Cricketing euphoria and despair: Where to go from here?

The dream of the Bangladesh of playing in the World Cup Quarter Finals had turned into nightmare with its humiliating defeat to West Indies, and it was finally sealed with its defeat by the Proteas.

This Day In History

March 21
1857
An earthquake in Tokyo, Japan kills over 100,000.


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