The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Thursday, October 23, 2014


News of: Monday, 28th of March, 2011

Front Page

Caretaker to get JS fix

The parliamentary special committee on constitutional amendment is mulling some proposals for specifying the terms and conditions for caretaker governments, including limiting their tenure for a maximum of 90 days.

Wait now for more flights

The stranded Bangladeshis in Choucha camp could be repatriated within a day or two if flights are made available, IOM officials at the camp said.

Libyan rebels push west

Libyan rebels pushed west yesterday to recapture more territory abandoned by Muammar Gaddafi's retreating forces, weakened by Western air strikes.

BNP's ex-minister Alim arrested

Former BNP lawmaker Md Abdul Alim has been arrested on charges of crimes against humanity in 1971.

Hasina sought int'l help after mutiny

After the 2009 BDR mutiny, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had telephoned India's External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee requesting assistance from the international community, The Hindu reported citing a leaked US embassy cable.

Inflow from Libya starts declining

Inflow of Bangladeshi migrants to Tunisia and Egypt has trickled down, as only 35 workers crossed the Libyan border in the last 48 hours.

Radiation report 'mistaken'

The operators of a stricken Japanese nuclear plant have apologised for a "mistake" in reporting a radiation spike 10 million times above normal.

Some relief for acid, burn victims

A Bangladeshi scientist now living in New Zealand has brought good news for the people with severe wound and similar physical injury from acid attack and fire incident.

RMG worker's death sparks vandalism

Angry garment workers vandalised over 20 vehicles and set fire to four buses and blocked the Dhaka-Gazipur highway for three and half hour yesterday after a fellow worker was killed by a bus.

Ties with US to stay unhurt

Dhaka-Washington relations will not be affected by the position of a “personality”, as the ties between the two countries are based on partnership and marked by common values, global position on international issues and institutional links, Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes has said.

12,000km in 357 days

The first turtle that was tagged in Bangladesh with a satellite chip to track its journey last year has travelled over 12,000 kilometres in 357 days and is now coming back to Bangladesh coast from Sri Lanka.

Find those who made quick wealth

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the officials of the National Board of Revenue (NBR) to inquire into abnormal growth of wealth of certain quarters.

HC orders for 2 Jamaat leaders valid

The Supreme Court yesterday upheld a High Court order that directed the jail authorities to provide division facilities to detained Jamaat-e-Islami leaders Muhammad Kamaruzzaman and Abdul Quader Molla.

4 charged with killing SI Goutam

Seven months after the killing of Sub-inspector Gautam Roy of Bangshal Police Station, Detective police yesterday submitted charge sheet against four people in the sensational case to a Dhaka Court.

Woman kills herself 'to escape abuse'

A woman allegedly committed suicide at East Rasulpur of the city's Kamrangirchar on Saturday night.

Ershad wins custody of Eric

A Dhaka court yesterday in a judgment said Shahdab Jarab Eric would be brought up by his father former president and Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad.

15 Shibir men remanded

A Dhaka court yesterday placed 15 members of Islami Chhatra Shibir on a two-day remand each in two cases filed for assaulting policemen and damaging public properties.

40 years of independence and 20 years of independent journalism

Dear readers, today we have the pleasure to present you with the fifth instalment of our 500-page supplement series marking the 20th Anniversary of

Editorial

Contractual appointments

Contractual appointments are not unique to any administration, but when these become a pervasive phenomenon they cause more harm than good to the very system that the appointments are supposed to invigorate. In the case of our administration the latter is more likely to be the case if the number of public servants reemployed after retirement or have had their service tenure extended, continues to be at the current level. One wonders what the compulsions are for the government to fill up more than 200 administrative posts with retirees and even outsiders, as reported in this newspaper recently.

Bangladeshi nurses in Libya

Reports of Bangladeshi medical staff, especially nurses, not being allowed to leave embattled Libya are worrying. As our correspondent now in Choucha on the Tunisia-Libya frontier notes, a number of Bangladeshis fleeing Libya have spoken of many nurses being compelled to work in hospitals, tending to those wounded in the armed clashes between government and rebel forces. It is also quite natural to suppose that many of the wounded are individuals caught in the air raids over Libya by western forces. While it is perfectly understandable that those wounded in the war as also others will be in need of treatment, it is inconceivable that foreigners working in these hospitals will be detained against their will.

Sports

Taylor dreams big

Moments after Daniel Vettori had enacted the last act of their disastrous Bangladesh tour (the series-ending press conference) in October, a fellow journalist quipped that New Zealand could end up losing everything before the World Cup but like the Germans in the football World Cup (twelve times semifinalists), they would be in the semifinals come what may.

Mashrafe, Kapali back

Pacer Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and middle-order batsman Alok Kapali have been recalled for next month's three-match ODI series against Australia when the Bangladesh Cricket Board yesterday declared a 14-member squad for the home series.

A nation of openers

England didn't give Upul Tharanga enough runs to break his own world record. It might sound easy but given Sri Lanka's tradition of big opening stands and of course England's ineptitude, another 50-odd runs in eleven overs looked easier than a cruise.

Cricket lover's paradise

Tucked within a quiet street in Colombo is a cricketing wonderland, a dream for cricket lovers of all ages. Mere words will fall short for a genuine follower upon entering this place, a refuge for geeks who talk nothing but cricket and those who take pleasure in knowing, sharing and watching the game.

A clash of unpredictables

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his Pakistan counterpart Shahid Afridi will be involved in an engrossing battle of wits in the eagerly-awaited World Cup semifinal in Mohali on Wednesday.

Not enough quality: Strauss

In a brutal assessment, captain Andrew Strauss said it was a meek surrender by England in their World Cup exit from the quarterfinals after a crushing 10-wicket loss to Sri Lanka at the R Premadasa Stadium on Saturday.

English press slam schedule

England's ignominious exit from the World Cup highlighted the folly of the team's touring schedule and raised doubts about the fate of Andrew Strauss as one-day skipper, Britain's press said Sunday.

Sri Lanka eye Kiwi treble

Sri Lanka eye a triple World Cup strike against New Zealand in Tuesday's semifinals, but skipper Kumar Sangakkara fears that poor fielding may jeopardise his team's hopes of making the final.

Ponting mulling his future

Ricky Ponting said on Sunday he will decide his international future over the next few days, but insisted he still has a lot to offer Australian cricket.

Hafeez awed by Sachin

Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez insists no praise is too high for India great Sachin Tendulkar, but it won't stop his side from targeting the legendary batsman in the World Cup semifinal.

Mind games on

India and Pakistan kicked-off the mind games ahead of their World Cup semifinal blockbuster on Sunday while New Zealand attempted to halt a three-pronged Asian assault on the title.

Gilani accepts Singh's invitation

In a victory for "cricket diplomacy", Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has accepted an invitation to visit India to watch the World Cup semifinal between the two arch-rivals.

Misbah backs Akhtar factor

Pakistan batsman Misbahul Haq believes fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has a key role to play in the World Cup semifinal against India -- even if the paceman doesn't take the field.

Vettel reigns supreme

World champion Sebastian Vettel sounded a warning to his rivals with a dominating victory in his flying Red Bull in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on Sunday.

England, Germany cruise

England and Germany took a big step towards Euro 2012 qualification on Saturday with routine wins over Wales and Kazakhstan respectively to take command of their groups.

Capello purrs about Wilshere

Fabio Capello lavished praise on Jack Wilshere after the teenage midfielder anchored England to a comfortable win over Wales with a performance that belied his tender years.

Klose targets Der Bomber

Two more goals at international level against Kazakhstan on Saturday has brought Miroslav Klose to within seven goals of the German record currently held at 68 by legendary striker Gerd Muller.

'Future is bleak'

Outgoing South African cricket captain Graeme Smith feels the immediate future of the team is bleak in the wake of its shock

Taufel, Gould for Indo-Pak clash

Australia's Simon Taufel and Ian Gould of England were on Sunday named as the umpires for Wednesday's highly-charged World Cup semifinal between India Pakistan.

'Chokers' called at home too

A despondent South African cricket team returned home after a shock quarterfinal exit from the World Cup with the media here slamming it, saying that the 'chokers' tag would stick to the side for a long time to come.

Earth Hour hit for six

Sri Lanka put off marking "Earth Hour" because it clashed with the cricket World Cup, an official said Sunday.

Kiwi PM invited to semi

Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse on Sunday invited New Zealand Prime Minister John Key to witness the cricket World Cup semifinals between the two nations on Tuesday, an official said.

BOA awards CWG & Asiad winners

Bangladesh Olympic Association (BOA) gave away cash prizes to the athletes who won in the 19th Commonwealth Games and the 16th Asian Games yesterday.

Police win Independence Day kabaddi

Bangladesh Police won the Independence Day Kabaddi Tournament after a hard-fought 25-24 victory over Bangladesh Army at the Kabaddi Stadium yesterday.

Navy win Independence Day b'ball

Bangladesh Navy clinched the Independence Day Basketball Tournament title with a 73-53 win over BKSP at the Dhanmondi Basketball Gymnasium yesterday.

Handball referees course

A four-day Handball Referees Course got underway yesterday at the Bangladesh Handball Federation office situated at Bangabandhu National Stadium.

Business

Micro-enterprises lack access to finance

Micro- and small-enterprises face difficulty in flourishing mainly because of their lack of access to finance for working capital and booster investments.

IMF adds stockmarket string to $1b credit

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has attached a new condition to its $1 billion credit offer for Bangladesh: demutualisation of stock exchanges as part of an effort to stabilise the troubled stockmarket.

Hasina seeks higher tax to cut 'donor interference'

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon tax officials to increase their efforts to collect more revenue so that the government can reduce interference of development partners into its day to day affair.

Regulator hopeful of MJL, MI Cement listings

The stockmarket regulator looks optimistic about finding a way for the listings of MJL Bangladesh Ltd and MI Cement Factory Ltd, though the premier bourse has turned down requests for the twin listings.

Bangkok Airways connects Dhaka

Thailand-based Bangkok Airways, a regional budget airline, started its flight operations in Bangladesh last night.

BB sets up help desk for clients

Bangladesh Bank has introduced a help desk at its head office to ease hassles for seekers of financial services.

Nitol-Niloy and Amrit sign $10m deal

Nitol-Niloy Group of Bangladesh signed a joint venture agreement with Amrit Group of India in Dhaka on Saturday.

Probe report speculation rattles market

Turnover dropped sharply on the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday, as investors feared a negative impact of a probe report expected to be submitted to the government on March 31.

Lender to LatAm eyes funding boost

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) hopes to double its loans to the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean, to $3.0 billion by 2015, the US-based organization said Saturday.

Decision on cotton-waste export today

The government will take a decision on the exports of cotton-waste, a by-product from spinning mills, an official said yesterday.

ICB to seek approval from SEC for Bangladesh Fund

State-run Investment Corporation of Bangladesh (ICB) will submit the Bangladesh Fund to the Securities and Exchange Commission this week for approval, in an effort to boost investor confidence.

China Eastern announces new flight schedule

China Eastern Airline has announced a new schedule of their daily flight from Dhaka, effective from today, the airliner said in a statement yesterday.

SEC ordinance up for reform

The government has moved to reform the Securities and Exchange Commission Ordinance 1969 in a bid to strengthen the regulatory framework for the stockmarket.

Govt plans insurance for poultry farmers

The government will introduce insurance to poultry farmers to safeguard them against losses arising from the virus-related disease such as bird-flu, said the fisheries and livestock minister.

A superstore crafted with care

The idea behind Aarong's flagship retail store was all about setting up an outlet that will tell the story of a leading fashion house, its ties with people and the promotion of Bangladeshi craft as modern product, its designer says.

Time no longer the essence for luxury watchmakers

Time is up for oversize and flashy luxury watches that actually tell you the hour.

Potato now a plight

Only the bedrooms of the tin-shed building remain free. The rest, the veranda, and dining room to kitchen -- potatoes are piled everywhere. An odour from some rotten tubers fills the air of the household.

Potato storage reels from power outage

Bangladesh Cold Storage Association has warned all concerned about the risks of rotting of potatoes due to frequent power cuts at the storage facilities that have already begun storing the crop this season.

Hundreds arrested after British anti-cuts demo

British police clashed with bottle-throwing protesters at a London tourist landmark early Sunday, overshadowing a peaceful march by more than 250,000 people against government spending cuts.

Truckers scarce as India aims for top gear growth

After three years of driving on some of the world's most dangerous roads, 20-year-old Indian truck driver Moin Sheikh wants out of the gruelling job.

BP risks losing Russia 'deal of century'

One of the biggest energy deals in Russia's post-Soviet history is on the verge of collapse amid questions about both the British giant BP's credibility and the risk of doing business in the country.

Hong Kong banks to repay Lehman minibond investors

Hong Kong banks that sold minibonds linked to now bankrupt Lehman Brothers have agreed to repay tens of thousands of investors up to 96.5 percent of their investment, regulators said Sunday.

Brown urges G-20 to seal 'global growth pact'

Less than a week ahead of a meeting of the Group of 20 rich and developing nations in China, former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has urged the world's most powerful economies to seal a "global growth pact" to fight unemployment.

Sinopec profit up 14pc

China's Sinopec said Sunday its 2010 net profit rose nearly 14 percent on higher oil prices and strong do-mestic demand for refined oil and chemical products.

Egypt stocks open strong, triggering market halt

Egypt's stock exchange surged by about 5 percent early Sunday as investors previously cautious about its nearly two-month closure returned to the market and began reversing the earlier losses.

Metropolitan

4 city canals still under grabbers' grip

Dhaka district administration failed to recover city's four canals and file a single case against illegal housing projects occupying rivers during its month-long deadline ending in January. It however partially recovered one canal.

Better waterways by 2013

The government is seriously considering river dredging to revive the waterways in a bid to boost the transportation system, said Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan yesterday.

Solve Yunus issue to uphold country's image

The prime minister (PM) should rise above political narrowness to solve the issue centring Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus for the sake of the country's image, speakers said yesterday.

Bangladeshi scientist claims faster wound care dressing

A Bangladeshi scientist now living in New Zealand has brought good news for the people with severe wounds from acid attack and fire incident.

Graft clutches every sphere of society

Former adviser to a caretaker government and rights activist Sultana Kamal yesterday said people are deprived of their rights and a sense of impunity has evolved in the culture due to massive corruption in every sphere of society.

BNP vows to protect independence

Vowing to protect country's independence, sovereignty and democracy, the main opposition BNP yesterday brought out a colorful procession in the city marking country's 40th Independence Day, also the National Day.

Defence lawyer warned of contempt of court

A special court, trying the suspected mutineers of 24 Rifle Battalion of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), yesterday warned a defence lawyer of contempt of court.

Blake's remarks on Prof Yunus disgraceful

A group of eminent personalities yesterday reacted against the recent comment of US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert O Blake on Grameen Bank and Dr Professor Muhammad Yunus.

Call to ensure safe migration

The commitment of high commissions, transparency and accountability of recruiting agencies and migration of skilled manpower abroad through legal channels can help ensure a safe passage abroad and repatriation during crisis periods.

HC asks SC register for pending case list

The High Court yesterday directed the Supreme Court registrar to submit a list of its pending criminal cases, for which paper books are yet to be prepared for hearing appeals, to it within eight weeks.

Country's liberation not possible without Bangabandhu: Ershad

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yesterday said people will respect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman as the father of the nation for obvious reasons since Bangladesh could not be liberated without him.

JSD threatens to retaliate BNP attack

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) leaders yesterday threatened to retaliate any kind of attack by BNP men.

Child drowns in bucket of water at Khilgaon

A two and a half year old child drowned in a bucket of water at his Khilgaon residence in the city yesterday.

Under-trial prisoner dies in N'ganj

An under-trial prisoner died at Narayanganj General Hospital early hours of Saturday.

President flies to Singapore today for check-up

President Zillur Rahman will leave Dhaka for Singapore today for medical check-up.

Hill cutting protested

A human chain was formed protesting hill cutting in Cox's Bazar yesterday.

National

500 passengers escape unhurt

Around 500 passengers of BIWTC steamer MV Sela narrowly escaped a major disaster after front part of the steamer sank in the Dakatia River at Chandpur terminal following cracks on the bottom Saturday night.

Save Kalasona Char from Jamuna erosion

Cross sections of people including students of Kalasona Char in Fulchhari upazila of Gaibandha district yesterday formed a human chain along the bank of Jamuna River, demanding steps to save their farmland and dwellings from devastating erosion.

16 more witnesses give deposition before special court

The special court-15 yesterday recorded depositions of 16 more prosecution witnesses (PWs) in the case for mutiny at 30 Battalion in Panchhari under Khagrachhari district.

268 out of 714 centres 'risky'

Law enforcers have identified 268 out of 714 polling centres in 78 unions under seven upazilas of Satkhira district as vulnerable to violence.

A different day for school kids

Around 1000 children from eight primary schools in the port city spent a happy time, enjoying and performing at a daylong festival yesterday.

JCD procession at RU foiled

At least nine people were injured as police attacked a procession of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) on Rajshahi University (RU) campus yesterday.

Four bombs recovered

Police recovered four bombs in Kalukha upazila of Rajbari district yesterday. Local people found a polythene bag containing the bombs on railway track in Arpara area at noon. Being informed, a police team led by Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Pangsha Police Station Mofazzal Hossain went to the spot and recovered the bombs at around 12:30pm. Police, however, dismissed the possibility of subversive activity. “We think that criminal left the bombs on the track to create panic,” OC said. Police has launched a drive to nab the criminals involved in the incident. Earlier Goalando police recovered two bombs from railway track on March 6.

Trucker, helper killed in storm

A truck driver and his helper were killed when a big branch of a tree fell on the Aricha-bound cargo laden truck on Dhaka-Aricha highway during storm Saturday evening. The identity of the dead could not be known. Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Shibalaya Police Station Meer Razaul Karim said the incident occurred at around 6:30pm at Mohadevpur area under the upazila. Traffic on highway remained halted for half an hour from 6:30pm.

Boy drowns in pond

A five-year-old boy drowned in a pond in Itna upazila of the district yesterday. The dead is Nirjon Chandra Das, 5, son of Nirmal Chandra Das of Paschimgram Dashati village. Family sources said Nirjon went missing since 9:00am yesterday. After a hectic search, family members found his body floating on a pond near their house at 11:30am.

Drug peddler jailed

A mobile court on Saturday sentenced a drug peddler to one year's imprisonment in Nayagola area under Chapainawabganj municipality.

Man electrocuted

A man was electrocuted at Ukilpara in the town on Saturday morning.

Rapist gets life

A Thakurgaon court sentenced a man to life imprisonment in a rape case on Wednesday afternoon. The convict is Abdur Razzak, 35, of Mohishmari village under Baliadangi upazila of the district. Judge Mokhlesur Rahaman of Women and Children Repression Prevenssion Court delivered the verdic in a crowded courtroom in presence of the accused. The court also fined the convicxt Tk30,000, in default, he is suffer another six months in jail. According to the prosecution, Razzak raped wife of Nur Islam of Mohishmari village under the same upazila when she came out of her room to respond to the call of nature on the night of February 28 in 2005. Nur islam was found lying with injuries beside their house. He filed a rape case with Baliadangi Police Station accusing Abdur Razzak. Police arrested Razzak. After investigation, police submitted a charge sheet against him.

Expat stabbed to death

A Bangladesh expatriate in Malaysia was stabbed to death by his friend following an altercation over repayment of borrowed money at Doluipur village in Kolaroa upazila on Saturday. The deceased was identified as Abdul Mannan, 38, son of late Enayet Ali of Bhorotpur village in Keshabpur upazila of Jessore district. Sources said Asadul Islam of Doluipur village in Kolaroa upazila and Mannan returned home from Malaysia four days ago. Police said Asadul borrowed Tk 50,000 from Mannan two years ago. On Saturday, Mannan came to Asadul's house and asked him to repay the money. After an altercation, Asadul refused to return the money and at one stage he stabbed Mannan indiscriminately, leaving him dead on the spot. On information, police rushed to the spot, recovered the body and sent it to Satkhira Sadar Hospital morgue for autopsy. Asadul had gone into hiding soon after the incident.

Letters

World cup and disaster in Japan

On March 11 the worst earthquake hit Japan followed by tsunami. We heard the news when the match between Bangladesh and England was in progress. It was a crucial match for us and Bangladeshis were glued to their TV sets if they were not in the stadium. The saddest part was that at that moment none of the Bangladeshi TV channels gave this as breaking news. After Bangladesh won the match, the breaking news was the historic win but not the disaster that had struck Japan and was continuing in the form of earthquakes, aftershocks and the nuclear disaster. Japan has always been a very good friend of Bangladesh and has been helping us in bad and good times.The officials of ICC and BCB along with the players could have observed a minute's silence to condole the death of so many people and to be one with the homeless and the injured.

Gains and pains of cricket

Bangladesh seems to have got relieved of cricket fever which prevailed across the country for one month. Thousands of people have been shocked at the inglorious exit of our team. As a host country, our expectation was like a mountain. However, it should be acknowledged that there are some positives as there are negatives. We hope BCB will scrutinise these and appoint experts to train the players. At last, I request the spectators to be rational in showing reaction after games. What we did after our defeat against West Indies was not good.

Protect the wage earners

With the developed world's liquidity crisis as well as political unrest in the Arab regime triggering a global economic downturn, safeguarding our wage earners is critical. Shrinking wages directly affect our low-income classes. The accompanying dip in consumer expenditure will drag economic growth and delay recovery from recession. The Bangladeshi wage earners' woes are exacerbated by several factors. A meaningful and universal minimum wage policy should precede any further initiative on labour reforms. Another imperative is to step up income support measures. One sector where these are required immediately is also one that is going through a major labour market transformation: the rural agrarian workforce, which suffers from lower job prospects. These call for a further strengthening, not weakening, of labour market institutions. The challenges are huge. Governments in Bangladesh and elsewhere should strengthen their protective role through new initiatives.

Allowance for freedom fighters

We are grateful to our Prime Minister for providing allowances to the freedom fighters. But still now many freedom fighters do not get this allowance. They cannot buy enough food, medicine and daily necessaries. My request to the government is to provide enough facilities to the freedom fighters. Freedom fighters didn't fight considering that their sons and daughters will get privilege in future, rather they did it for the emancipation of the people of the country. My humble request to our Prime Minister- please does not make difference among the present generation by offering special BCS and quota system for the freedom fighters' children. The general people also contributed much to the country.

Electronic car stealing!

A technical article, titled 'Tech Story' was published on 21st.March, in a local English daily. It was a fascinating piece of information that revealed the dark side of 'high tech electronics'! Here we had the advanced motor car, with electronics all over; and on the other hand, we had the cunning electronics 'whiz-kid', who by changing some programme and may be a few codes, managed to steal the car without leaving any clue or fingerprints anywhere! As we say 'there are down side to everything'; it seems it also applies to the latest in automation! That is the way the modern culprits will go.

Thank you, Bangladesh

I am writing to express my earnest gratitude to the people of Dhaka and Bangladesh for the relentless support and encouragement they gave to Pakistan cricket team during the quarter-final match of ICC world cup. The jubilation and enthusiasm they expressed as each West Indies wicket fell was very adorable. People of Bangladesh have won our hearts. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. I sincerely hope one day we will be able to cheer for the Bangladeshi cricket team playing an important match of world cup in Pakistan.

'The Martyr of Benghazi'

The CNN has aired a touching story titled 'The Martyr of Benghazi'. A strictly apolitical narrator would tell you that a rebel suicide bomber named Mehdi Mohammed Zeyo blew up a (government) barrack on February 19, 2011. He is therefore, says CNN, a great freedom-loving martyr. I wonder if the admiration would be the same if the incident had taken place in Iraq or Afghanistan or any country in the world for that matter. Also, what of the generic strategy of suicide-bombing? Is it acceptable? If not, then mere imperial-favour has bestowed honour to an otherwise despised act.

Toll free number

Bangladesh Telephone Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has taken a wise decision by instructing the six private mobile phone operators to keep number 121 free from billing. The Chairman of the Commission Major General (Retd) Zia Ahmed has said that people who are availing services from these operators should not be burdened with extra money. He says there is no point to levy extra money by the operators when customers need to know something about their services. Operators, on the other hand, say that this will create problems for them as they will be flooded with customers' queries resulting in loss of revenues. We hope that BTRC will remain strict in its policy and apply this non billing system as soon as possible.

Lawmakers' acts in JS

It is appalling and shameful how the MPs behave in the parliament.When the parliamentary session goes on, per minute costs a huge amount of money, during this time the lawmakers are supposed to discuss various problems of the country and find solutions, but alas, it is not the case. They waste time by admiring their respective leaders, adding many adjectives to their names every time their names are mentioned.

Learning economics

The education minister deserves praise for the new education policy and the examination system. Today the media speaks about many aspects of general people's income, expenditure, market prices, costs of living and so on. Thus, a student of class VII or above is well aware about the income of their parents. Students must learn economics in their schools. The education minister should do something about this.

Modern day slavery

Those who have watched the famous television serial "The Roots" by Alex Haley are definitely familiar with the term slavery and what it means. America devised new concept ( DV Lottery) of modern day slavery. They do not come, hunt you down, bind you with chains and take on board the vessels en-route to the United States, as we have seen in the television serial.

Prioritise Dhaka-Cox's Bazar rail link

As reported by the press, several organisations plus a ward commissioner of Cox's Bazar in a press conference in Dhaka protested the move to expand the Cox's Bazar airport and demanded immediate cancellation of the project to save poor people of the area. Instead, they stressed on the need for construction of the proposed Dhaka-Cox's Bazar railway line.

For a digital Bangladesh

At present online-based activities are getting popularity everywhere. A remarkable part of the credit will go to the present government which is trying to turn our country into a digital one. We hope the government will take further effective initiatives so that each person can enjoy this service easily- free of cost- or at an affordable cost. Then, we believe, the dream of digital Bangladesh will come true.

Readers respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star report headlined “Civil surgeon at fault”.

Attention Readers

We bring to your kind notice that most of the letters we receive still contain more than 150 words, which makes it difficult for us to edit and publish. We therefore remind you again to restrict your letters/opinions/comments to a maximum of 150 words. Your kind cooperation will be highly appreciated.

International

Nato set to take command of Libya campaign

Nato looks set to agree yesterday to take command of military operations against Muammar Gaddafi as France fights to keep political control in the hands of the US-led "coalition of the willing".

Rescuers struggle in quake-hit Myanmar

Rescue teams struggled yesterday to reach those affected by a powerful earthquake that struck Myanmar's east three days ago, as aid workers feared the death toll would increase.

Indian PM commits to reforms

India's prime minister has reaffirmed his Congress-led government's commitment to economic reforms as the administration battles a host of corruption scandals.

Yemen's Saleh warns of 'chaos' US keeps lifeline

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has warned of Somalia-like "chaos" in Yemen if he steps down without an agreed successor as Washington said yesterday his fall could endanger its fight against Al-Qaeda.

Yemen ruling party, Saleh to meet for crisis talks

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ruling party will meet for crisis talks yesterday after Saleh said he was ready to hand over power on condition he be allowed to leave with dignity.

Syria to lift emergency law

The decision to lift emergency rule in Syria, which has been in place since 1963, has "already been made", a presidential adviser said yesterday.

Italy outlines plan with Gaddafi exile

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini set out the broad outlines of a diplomatic plan to resolve the crisis in Libya that could include exile for Muammar Gaddafi, in an interview published yesterday.

Coldest star found no hotter than fresh coffee

According to a new study, a star discovered 75 light-years away is no warmer than a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

Merkel alliance braces for disaster

Germans began voting yesterday in a key state election in which Chancellor Angela Merkel's party risks losing power in its wealthy heartland, after the Japan nuclear crisis overshadowed the campaign.

Pope urges ceasefire in Libya

Pope Benedict XVI called yesterday for the international community to immediately begin a dialogue in Libya to bring about a ceasefire, saying he was concerned about the safety of civilians.

Ouattara rejects AU envoy

Alassane Ouattara, Ivory Coast's internationally recognised president, has rejected the African Union's nomination of an envoy, questioning his impartiality.

Taliban abduct 50 policemen in Afghanistan

Taliban insurgents abducted around 50 off-duty Afghan policemen in an ambush in a volatile province in northeastern Afghanistan, the militant group and provincial officials said yesterday.

Regime change in Libya 'very complicated': Robert Gates

Regime change is not part of the military mission in Libya because past experience has shown it is "very complicated," US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates said yesterday.

Suu Kyi's party seeks talks with Myanmar's generals

The party of Myanmar's pro-democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, called yesterday for talks with the country's military rulers to clear up "misunderstandings" before a new government takes office.

Six Yemen troops dead in suspected Qaeda attack

A suspected Al-Qaeda attack on an army convoy killed six Yemeni soldiers and wounded four others yesterday in Marib, east of the capital, a military official said.

Israel strike kills 2 in Gaza after call for calm

An Israeli air strike killed two Gaza militants yesterday, threatening to prompt more tit-for-tat attacks, a day after militants committed to calm if Israel reciprocated.

East Timor police take over from UN force

United Nations police returned full control of East Timor to the national force yesterday, the UN and government said, more than four years after bloody clashes threatened to push the country into civil war.

Arts & Entertainment

Face atop the Face

A group exhibition of masks by 20 contemporary artists, titled “Mukh O Mukhosh -3”, is on at Galleri Kaya, Uttara in Dhaka. The exhibition is unique in its innovative themes, techniques and mediums. The exhibition bears the personal hallmarks and creative perspectives of the artists.

Tagore's Scottish Connection

One of the less focused aspects of Tagore's multifaceted musical genius is his adaptation of Western tunes in many of his timeless songs. Music lovers, including some Tagore enthusiasts, rarely have an opportunity to listen to the Scottish compositions and Tagore's adaptation of these side by side. At a concert, titled 'International Voices', music enthusiasts of all ages had an opportunity to listen to Scottish ballads and Tagore songs, which were inspired by these tunes. The event, on Friday (March 25) evening, was organised by British Council and Shurer Dhara Music School at the British Council Auditorium on Fuller Road in Dhaka.

Heartening Harmony

The five-day Lalon Smaran Utsab (memorial festival), popularly known as Dol Utshab, ended at Chheuria Lalon Akhra in Kushtia last week.

Desh TV turns two

Desh TV turned two on March 26. The TV channel is celebrating through "Desh Utshab", featuring various cultural programmes, across the country. The celebration also marks 40 years of Bangladesh's Independence. On the occasion, the TV channel aired special programmes throughout the day.

Prachyanat's Road Show

To observe the dark night of March 25, 1971, Prachyanat School of Acting and Design brought out a unique procession on March 25. Titled “Laljatra”, the procession started from the Chhobir Haat premises at Shahbagh and ended at Aparajeyo Bangla, in front of Faculty of Arts building, Dhaka University.

SSJ Celebrates Independence Day in Faridpur

Shammilito Shangskritik Jote (SSJ) in Faridpur observed the 40th anniversary of Independence with a cultural programme at Swadhinata Mancha in the town.

Fulfilling a Dream

A discussion and cultural programme were held at Pabna Town Hall premises on March 26 to observe 40 years of independence. Pabna district administration organised the programme.

OP-ED

Using abusive words at JS

Use of unparliamentary language has become a culture in the Jatiya Sangsad (JS) or National Assembly. In fact, the term unparliamentary is rather too broad to convey its exact connotation, especially in the particular context. We are not aware if any other democracy in the world has this matchless culture of addressing the leaders of their opponent party with violently offensive and unspeakable words. But it is so common in our Parliament that the lawmakers have no qualm about it.

Cool Domestic Happiness

The British existed in India for over two centuries. They should have co-existed. They would not have needed a prime minister in 2011, David Cameron, to fiddle around with ideas like Gross Domestic Happiness, his latest barometer to gauge the welfare of society. Indians have long preferred GDS to GDP: Gross Domestic Self-satisfaction. A 19th century Cameron would have caught on to the fact that life is something more than a mere industrial revolution.

This Day In History

March 28
1930
Constantinople and Angora change their names to Istanbul and Ankara.



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