The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, September 21, 2014


News of: Sunday, 8th of May, 2011

Front Page

Carjackers on the prowl

Shamsur Rahman was coming home from a party on a Friday night with his wife. It was around midnight when he made a turn to his Gulshan road but he noticed a car behind him. It was moving slowly and it felt like it was shadowing him.

They kill drivers, snatch vehicles

On January 2, criminals stopped a rice-laden truck by putting barricade with another truck in Uttara. They then killed the driver and the helper, dumped their bodies in a roadside ditch at Banani and sped away with the truck.

India needs to keep its promises

India will make substantial announcements on specific outstanding issues with Bangladesh, like the Teesta river water sharing and decades-old border disputes, during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka.

Let Grameen Bank flourish further

Grameen Bank's future is connected with 40 million borrowers, and it should be ensured that its achievements in the last four decades are not undone, Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus said in a statement yesterday.

Our paean to the Bard

Rabindranath Tagore goes on occupying a very large segment of our collective literary consciousness. And as Bangla-speaking people in Bangladesh, in West Bengal, indeed all across the Bangalee diasora observe today the 150th anniversary of the birth of the poet, it is fair to suggest that the pre-eminent niche he holds in our collective life is not likely to be moved or shaken ever. In considerably more ways than one, Rabindranath embodies the psyche of his people. In a larger sense, from the perspective of history, he speaks of India as it used to be . . . or perhaps as it always has been in time.

Tagore bonds all together

Bangladesh once again assured India yesterday that its territory will not be allowed to be used by elements working against the interests of any country.

Celebrations off to a unique start

Inaugurations have a way of passing off rhetorically and ritualistically. But the inauguration of the Indian part of the celebrations with Bangladesh of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore at Vighyan Bhaban Saturday in New Delhi has been in a class of its own. The line, temper and texture of the curtain-raiser that flagged off year long celebrations were unique in certain ways.

PM flies to Istanbul

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina left Dhaka yesterday morning for Turkey on a four-day visit to attend the fourth UN Conference on LDCs to be held in Istanbul.

Limon requires long treatment

College student Limon Hossain, left maimed in a Rab firing on March 23, needs long-term treatment and care in a specialised hospital, Dr Abdur Rashid, director of Barisal Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital, said yesterday.

Ministry oblivious, okays import of chicks, eggs

Ignoring the risk of an avian flu outbreak and an alert of World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH), the commerce ministry has granted permissions to import hatching eggs and chicks from India.

Torture marks on GB staffer's body

Police yesterday recorded a case in connection with abduction of a Grameen Bank official from the capital's Mirpur Friday evening and his release after four hours of torture allegedly by intelligence personnel.

Kayani not with Zardari

Pakistan's powerful army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani does not support President Asif Ali Zardari's "no-first-use" nuclear policy, according to a US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.

Bangladeshi youth beaten to death in India

A youth, who went missing on Thursday from a border village, was allegedly beaten to death inside the Indian territory yesterday morning, said the officials of Bangladesh Border Guards (BGB).

Nine land in jail for job test forgery

Nine persons were arrested yesterday on charge of manipulation in a written test for the post of police constable held on Thursday at Rangpur Police Lines School.

6 posing as cops caught for robbery

Detective Branch of police Friday night arrested six members of a gang, who allegedly used to commit crimes in the guise of policemen, from the city's Tejgaon industrial area.

US asks Pakistan to name operatives

The administration of US President Barack Obama has demanded the identities of some of the top Pakistani intelligence operatives as the United States tries to determine whether any of them had contact with Osama bin Laden, The New York Times reported late Friday.

Polls open in Ecuador referendum

Ecuadorans began voting early yesterday on a raft of constitutional reforms including a bullfighting ban and measures that critics have slammed as an attempt to clamp down on the free press.

US lawmakers in Iraq for talks with PM

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called for greater cooperation with Washington after a US army pullout from Iraq at the end of 2011, in talks yesterday with US Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Correction

In our lead coverage on May 7, the photos were inadvertently credited to Morshed Ali Khan. Photos were in fact taken by Masudur Rahman. We apologise to the photographer and readers.

Editorial

Celebrating Tagore

The observance of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore symbolizes the deep reverence in which the poet has always been held by Bengali-speaking people not only in Bangladesh and West Bengal but elsewhere around the world as well. Such reverence has to do with the fact that it was Tagore whose poetry introduced a powerful dose of internationalism in the way Bengalis looked at the wider world around them and the other way round. His was a comprehensive way of looking at life, not just through his poetry but through his prose and his art as well. Rabindranath Tagore happens to be one of those rare of illustrious individuals whose comprehension of life and death and everything happening in between has been total and layered with meaning at various levels.

Employment abroad

We are all for expanding our global labour market. It ensures employment of our large work force as it also contributes towards socio - economic development of the country. Remittances from workers abroad have been substantial over the years. During the July 2010- April 2011 period remittances was $9587.15 million, registering a growth of 4.3 percent over the same period of the last fiscal.

Sports

Sk Russel earn full points

Mohammedan and Farashganj shared the spoils when they played out a 1-1 draw in their Grameenphone Bangladesh League match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.

Selectors asked to be proactive

There will be a specific job description for the newly-appointed national selection committee led by former national captain Akram Khan.

Miandad can be an option

We have had all sorts so far. In the early nineties, Mohinder 'Jimmy' Amarnath made the players run up the newly-built 24-storied Sena Kalyan building in Motijheel but failed to win the ICC Trophy. After his walk-out, came a menacing Barbadian, a terror to fast bowlers and part of a cricketing dynasty.

Mumbai stay on top

Ambati Rayudu cracked a half-century and Munaf Patel took two quick wickets to help Mumbai Indians post a 32-run win over Delhi Daredevils in an Indian Premier League match on Saturday.

Club Cup Mukti Sangha's

Rajshahi's Mukti Sangha became Inter-district Club Cup champions when they beat Yamin Krira Chakra of Sylhet by 44 runs in a rain-curtailed final at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur yesterday.

Women's club cup cricket

Abahani and Mohammedan won their respective matches in the Women's Club Cricket League yesterday.

SA badminton training camps in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has been chosen as the South Asian training centre by the Asian Badminton Confederation (ABC) for this year, informed Rubaba Dowla, president of Bangladesh Badminton Federation (BBF), at a press conference at the National Sports Council auditorium yesterday.

Comilla, Rangpur stroll to victories

Comilla and Rangpur won their respective second round group matches in the 31st Inter-district Cricket tournament yesterday.

Captain, coach on collision course?

Captain Shahid Afridi will meet Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ijaz Butt on his return from the West Indies to outline the problems he is facing while working with national team's head coach Waqar Younis.

Ballesteros no more

Spanish golf legend Severiano Ballesteros, one of golf's all-time greats who lifted five majors and turned a new generation on to the sport, died yesterday aged 54.

Sourav's wife a Pune fan

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly's wife Dona will be among the thousands of cricket crazy Kolkatans who will root for Pune Warriors India when they take on Kolkata Knight Riders at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on May 19.

'Gayle left us shell-shocked'

Blown away by Chris Gayle's brutal 49-ball hundred, Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist said the West Indian's knock left his team "shell-shocked" during their 85-run loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore in an Indian Premier League match here.

C'paul back in WI fold

Reports of Shivnarine Chanderpaul's demise appear to have been exaggerated after he was named Saturday in a 15-strong West Indies squad to prepare for first Test against Pakistan.

Short skirt rule could be gone from badminton

A new rule that orders female badminton players to wear short skirts could be scrapped after objections from China, Indonesia and Scandanavian countries, a Malaysian official said Saturday.

Nadal beats Federer

Rafael Nadal overcame Roger Federer 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 to reach the Madrid Masters final on Saturday on an emotional rollercoaster of a day which had started with a tearful, emotional tribute to Seve Ballesteros.

One last chance for Chelsea

Just two months after he was widely reported to be on his way out of Chelsea, coach Carlo Ancelotti has the chance to complete a remarkable comeback in the Premier League title race on Sunday.

Ref rage isn't right: Ancelotti

Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti insists he would never put pressure on referees in the same way as Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Advantage Man Utd

Manchester United winger Nani has started the mind games ahead of Sunday's title-deciding visit of Chelsea by claiming his team-mates hold a psychological edge over their rivals.

Eight-goal Bayern secure CL spot

Bayern Munich secured Champions League qualification after an 8-1 goal-fest at St Pauli ensured they will finish at least third and relegated their Hamburg-based hosts on Saturday.

Jose to boycott press

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho will boycott the club's press conferences until UEFA inform him why he has been banned for three matches, his assistant, Aitor Karanka, revealed on Friday.

Blanc resigned?

French football chiefs on Saturday denied a report that national coach Laurent Blanc had tendered his resignation amid a controversial race row.

Real test for Beckham

English star midfielder David Beckham will have the chance to play against his former club, Real Madrid, for the first time since joining the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2007 at a friendly in July.

Business

Jute spinners feel pinch of Middle East uprising

Jute spinners feel the pinch of a slowdown in the demand for yarn due to the ongoing uprising in the Middle East and some North African countries, exporters claimed yesterday.

Bigger ADP on the cards

Despite poor implementation of the Annual Development Programme (ADP), the government is going to undertake a bigger outlay for the upcoming year.

Apparel sector to grow by 14pc a year: Study

The Bangladesh apparel market will grow by more than 14 percent annually over the next four years, according to a market research.

DSE forms probe committee

Dhaka Stock Exchange has formed a five-member committee comprising non-elected directors to investigate the allegations raised against the bourse in a probe report on the recent stockmarket debacle.

Indian investors want special economic zone

India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry yesterday urged the government to set up a special economic zone (SEZ) in Sylhet for Indian investors.

ADB to okay new aid strategy in Sept

Asian Development Bank (ADB) will endorse a new assistance strategy for Bangladesh for 2011-2015 in September, the Manila based lender said in a statement on Friday.

ICT needs tax holiday till 2018: experts

The ICT sector should be kept out of the tax net up to 2018 to encourage foreign and domestic investment in software and information enabled services, said stakeholders yesterday.

Stocks keep losing for fourth week

Stocks continued its bearish trend for the fourth straight week as institutional investors remained inactive in the market despite cash-pumps by the Bangladesh Fund into the market.

ACCA launches Foundations in Accountancy

Global accountancy body ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) launched a new suite of qualification 'Foundations in Accountancy' worldwide, said a statement yesterday.

Aftab seeks single digit rate for SME loans

SME Foundation chairperson has stressed the need for facilitating the development of women entrepreneurship in the country by offering loans at single digit interest rate and enhancing their skills through offering various programmes.

Observations on the proposed 'wealth' tax

In a recent discourse on wealth/property tax, one proposal suggests of assessing wealth from statements of individual tax-payers on the ground of ease in its administration. The wealth statement, if recorded truthfully and on time, captures the wealth stated at the time of one's entry into the tax-net, plus the accumulated savings from one's incomes over the years, which have been reported and have been assessed for income tax purposes.

Fusion of work and play shapes Lenovo laptops

Chinese computer colossus Lenovo is infusing its leading business laptops with more fun features as Internet Age lifestyles blur lines between work and play.

On a path to cross $30b export mark

Apparel makers are eyeing to fulfil a target to export garments worth $30 billion within the next three years, against a backdrop of current trends.

Target achievable, conditions apply

Apparel makers in the country are optimistic that garments exports will cross the $30 billion mark within the next three years, as overseas orders are pouring in. At the same time, they point at issues over capacity that is needed to cater to the volumes of orders within this period. The Daily Star speaks to sector leaders to find out the realities and potential.

Indonesia turns Asean focus to food, energy security

Indonesia on Saturday warned fellow Southeast Asian states that rising food and energy prices could drive more people into poverty and urged coordinated action to fight inflation.

Eurozone faces up to boomerang Greek debt chaos

Stressed eurozone states from Portugal to Finland faced up Saturday to the need to renegotiate Greece's bailout repayments as "catastrophic" Athens finances returned to haunt the EU.

Russian-born billionaire buys Warner Music

Russian-American billionaire Len Blavatnik's Access Industries won a bidding war on Friday for Warner Music Group, buying the storied music company for $3.3 billion in an all-cash transaction.

India tops sales focus for global companies

India tops the sales focus for major global corporations, followed closely by China, and a third of companies also see these two countries as the top markets for production, according to a study.

US private sector gives big jobs boost in April

The US private sector cranked out over a quarter-million jobs in April, boosting recovery from a recession-era pit even as the unemployment rate rose to 9.0 percent, official data showed Friday.

Downturn hands Glencore investors pricing power

European mutual fund managers sense an opportunity to drive down the price of Glencore International's bumper $11 billion listing, as fears of slowing global economic growth rattles commodity markets.

Asian shares slide

Asian shares fell Friday on concerns over the global economy while gold and silver extended their recent declines following last week's record highs and oil reversed earlier gains to sink further.

Weekly Currency Roundup

May 2- 5, 2011
International Markets
The US dollar went through another week of sustained weakness. The euro held near a 17-month high against the dollar on Thursday as markets waited for the European Central Bank to reinforce higher rate expectations, with a hint of a June hike needed to boost the currency further. Markets players said the euro could rise further if ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet, in comments after the ECB meeting, uses the phrase "strong vigilance" on price pressures, signalling last month's rate rise would be followed by another as early as June. However, some analysts thought further upside potential from Trichet's remarks would be limited. Trichet is due to speak at a press conference around 1230 GMT, after the announcement of the bank's May policy decision. Rates are expected to be left on hold for now, but Trichet's reference at last month's meeting to "close monitoring" showed the ECB remains in a tightening cycle. Data showing hiring in the U.S. private sector was weaker than expected in April, and a sharper slowing of service sector growth, reinforced diverging U.S. and euro zone rate outlooks. The Federal Reserve is expected to keep policy loose for many months after its bond-buying programme ends in June on Wednesday; top Federal Reserve officials repeated their cautious view on the policy outlook, saying inflation remained well under control. Market participants are also watching commodities to see if a further slide prompts short covering in the dollar and unwinding of dollar-funded carry trades.

Metropolitan

War hero Nooruzzaman laid to rest

Veteran freedom fighter Lt Col (retd) Quazi Nooruzzaman (Bir Uttam) was laid to eternal rest with full state and military honour in city's Banani Military Graveyard yesterday.

3.5 lakh people affected in country

Bangladesh will observe World Thalassaemia Day today as elsewhere across the globe with the theme “Equal Chance to Life”.

Call to ensure special funds in budget for Harijans, Dalits

Leaders of Harijan and Dalit communities yesterday urged the government for special allocation in the upcoming budget for the communities.

10 killed in road accidents

Ten people, including a member of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), were killed and 14 others injured in separate road accidents in Comilla, Rajshahi, Manikganj, Kushtia, Narsingdi and Thakurgaon districts yesterday.

Stop indiscriminate migration of rural people to city

Speakers at a rally yesterday demanded effective decentralisation of all sectors including administration to prevent indiscriminate migration of rural people to the capital.

AL won't counter BNP agitation, says Hanif

Awami League will publish a memorial book and make a documentary on the political life and struggles of Hasina

Proper rehabilitation saves stroke patients

Experts at a city workshop yesterday said stroke patients can be saved from disability through proper rehabilitation.

Unable to see doctor, old woman kills herself

An elderly woman, financially unable to cure herself from different complications she has been suffering for long, committed suicide in the city yesterday.

CMP destroys huge quantity of drugs

Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) yesterday destroyed a huge quantity of drugs recovered from various places in the city last month.

Journos not getting info despite RTI Act

Speakers at a roundtable discussion yesterday said the journalists are still not getting necessary information from bureaucrats despite the Right to Information (RTI) Act is in operation.

Website on medicinal plants

A website titled 'Medicinal Plants Database of Bangladesh' was launched at Chittagong Press Club in Chittagong yesterday.

4 held in city, Gazipur

Mohammadpur police yesterday arrested four people belonging to an auto-rickshaw lifting syndicate in the city and Gazipur in two separate drives.

Agreements with Summit Power on May 12

The government and Summit Power will enter final agreements for three major power projects on May 12 after about two weeks' delay, a power ministry source said.

5 shot in city

Five people were shot as a gang of unidentified gunmen fired indiscriminately on employees of an iron store at Bangshal in the city last night.

Woman dies at hospital: Husband held

A woman tortured allegedly by her husband succumbed to her injuries at a city hospital yesterday evening after three days' fight for life.

Convection over North Bay

Deep convection is taking place over North Bay. Squally weather may continue over North Bay and adjoining coastal area of Bangladesh.

BNP rally tomorrow

The opposition BNP will hold a rally in front of the party's central office at Naya Paltan in the city tomorrow as part of its countrywide programme demanding midterm election.

National

72 hurt, 25 houses vandalised in pre-poll clashes in 3 dists

At least 72 people were injured and 25 houses vandalised during clashes between the supporters of the prospective candidates in the upcoming elections to union parishads in Shariatpur, Narsingdi and Madaripur districts yesterday.

Housewives, schoolgirl commit 'suicide'

Two housewives and a schoolgirl allegedly committed suicide while a middle-aged woman was hacked to death on Friday and the day before.

Elderly man jailed for rape of schoolgirl

An elderly man was jailed for rape on Thursday while two youths were punished for stalking yesterday and the day before.

Growers eye a bumper mango production

Growers and agriculture officials are eyeing a bumper production of mango in Chapainawabganj this season as favourable weather conditions have helped large-scale flowering of the mango trees and smooth growth of the delicious summer fruit.

Victim of teacher's cruelty still reels from trauma

Class VIII student Rizia Sultana Sathi, who remained unconscious for 22 hours due to beating by her teacher Kamalesh Roy of Noornagar PWD High School in Khulna city on Wednesday, is still reeling from the trauma at Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH).

People suffer as road to pontoon washed away

Road communications between Netrakona town and eight upazilas of the district have remained snapped since Friday morning as a portion of the road linking pontoon bridge on the Kongsha River at Thakurakona under Sadar upazila was damaged by onrush of water from hills across the border.

Mystery shrouds death of housewife

Mystery has shrouded the death of Kamona Rani Saha, 23, wife of Bhromor Chandra Saha at Panjankhara village in Sadar upazila of the district.

BL College Shibir leaders injured in BCL attack

Three Islami Chhatra Shibir leaders were seriously injured in an attack by Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) injured at BL College in Doulatpur in the city yesterday noon.

BCL stops classes at IU

Chhatra League (BCL) activists yesterday forced the Islamic University (IU) authorities to stop classes and examinations protesting a bomb attack on its leader.

Milon was murdered as he protested teasing of sister

College student Milon Sheikh was murdered for protesting teasing of his sister by a group of stalkers.

30 shanties, 8 houses gutted in 2 districts

At least 30 shanties and eight houses were gutted in two incidents of fire in Khulna and Kishoreganj yesterday.

10 injured in clash over disputed land in Satkhira

At least 10 people, including three women, were injured in a clash between two rival groups over harvesting paddy from a disputed land at Sujanshaha village in Tala upazila on Friday.

Robbers loot gold, cash from 2 Bogra houses

Robbers looted gold ornaments, cash and other valuables from two houses in Adamdighi upazila headquarters early Friday.

OMS rice seized, one arrested

Police recovered one metric tonne of rice meant for Open Market Sale (OMS) in Poura Bazar area yesterday and arrested one person in this connection.

Letters

Jatrabari-Gulistan flyover

About one and half years ago when the construction work of the flyover started, it went on with high speed, but these days the work is going on at snail's pace.

Stop killing the rivers

It seems that death is lurking everywhere; no one is feeling safe now-a-days in our country. Accidents on the roads and in the rivers have become frequent in which a large number of people are losing their lives, and people are also being killed by miscreants routinely.

Settle Rohingya issue

Myanmar is one of the neighboring countries of Bangladesh. There exists a close tie of export-import liaison between these two countries. Of late, the Rohingya issue has been creating a crack in the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. Thousands of Rohingyas (Myanmar's aboriginals) have been crossing into Bangladesh for a long time. Because of their illegal entrance, our local inhabitants are suffering much. Rohingyas are now causing serious social and economic disturbances. They are now creating violence in our land. Most importantly, many blacklisted criminals use the Rohingya-cover to disguise themselves from police. Moreover, they are sometimes used as the human and drug trafficking agents! So, it is very important for both the Myanmar and Bangladesh govt. to come forward and settle the matter.

Teachers' problems in rural areas

The posting of teachers to the rural schools/educational institutions should be made more attractive, through additional benefits, both in cash and kind.

Wake up Rajuk!

Tawfique Ali's front page header and the two accompanying photographs published on 23rd. April: on removing billboards, as ordered by the court; has been shunned by Rajuk chairman with a lame excuse of "lack of manpower"! It only denotes lack of common sense and initiative in getting the work accomplished.

Media spotlight

The world is a selfish place where everybody is after the romanticism and gloss of the rich people. Most of the media covered the story of love affair and wedding of the royal couple at a time when millions of people are dead and displaced due to tsunami and earthquake in Japan; thousands of people are dying and being displaced every day in the Middle-East and Africa due to civil war and on the whims of the rich and powerful countries. Which should be the focus of the media- the lives of millions or the romantic love story of a royal couple?

How frail is our sovereignty!

Having worked in a British Tea Plantation for over three decades I found a lot of interest on the tea plantation which is expanding to north of our country. In April 2006, I was horrified to see the encroachment of a part of our motherland by the Indians under the guard of the BSF and wrote in your daily with no reaction from any quarters. The DC and the local administration visit these areas as a routine and do nothing about it. While the two ladies and our parliamentarians have so many other things to argue about, none has the courage to speak about this encroachment of our motherland. While other nations are ready to defend every inch of their motherland, Bangladeshis are petrified to even print this in the dailies. How frail is our sovereignty!

Wishes to William & Kate

Amidst shower of blessings and good wishes from millions of people across the world, Britain's lovely Prince William and fairy princess Kate got into wedlock on April 29, 2011 accomplishing the Royal titles Duke and Duchess of Cambridge respectively. I extend my hearty congratulations and best wishes to Duke William and Duchess Kate. May the new couple be bestowed with a very happy wedded life!

CPD suggestions

The suggestions of CPD while talking at press briefings on the upcoming budget at their Dhanmondi office was praiseworthy. However, I disagree with Dr. Debapriyo who suggested that a TIN certificate should be made mandatory for opening a BO account. It does not hold a convincing rationale on the ground that a large number of investors are either retired or housewives or returned from foreign countries after completion of their contracts or small investors who don't have TIN. It is also important to mention that most of the above mentioned investors are part-time investors who come to invest in the capital market since the National Saving Certificate has considerably lowered their dividends. It is also not logical to suggest that interest should be charged on small investors when they buy or sell shares in the market as this will cause investors to lose interest in the capital market. We propose that the government should make a ceiling and charge interest on a certain amount so that it does not afflict the interest of the small investors.

Science and religious leaders

It is said that one of the great mysteries of physics is why our universe appears to be made entirely of ordinary matter when matter and antimatter are understood to have been created in equal amounts at the time of Big Bang. The scientists have detected the antimatter partner of the helium nucleus: antihelium-4, a new particle, also known as anti-alpha. It makes the study about the condition of the early universe easy.

Frequent power cuts

I am an investor and businessman living abroad. I have a property in DZ Baridhara, Dhaka. Since I came to Bangladesh I have been witnessing a troublesome period due to power cuts at least 6 times every day out of 12 hour period. This happens early in the morning also. Why such power cuts constantly occurring during early hours of the morning? It is nothing but a sabotage taking place by a group of employees who may have other plans to bring bad names to the authorities, or is it a deliberate attempt to create pressure on the authorities to achieve other advantages? I am really disheartened as I am considering my future plan as an investor here.

Dangerous sound pollution

Not to say of Dhaka, even the district towns like Kushtia have now become helpless victims of dangerous sound pollution. Indiscriminate and ceaseless hooting of vehicles, ringing of rickshaw bells and ghastly metallic sound of running trucks has made the streets unbearably noisy. To add to this, there are loudspeakers used at the highest pitch mostly for commercial purposes. Brick-crusher machines creating terrible sound are often seen operating freely in residential areas.

Referendum please

The partition of Bengal in 1905 was based on religion. In 1947 the predominantly Muslim half of Bengal became East Pakistan and the predominantly Hindu part became the Indian state of West Bengal. Nearly 92% of the population of Bangladesh believes in the Quran and the Sunna, yet due to trepidation of its harmoniously large Hindu dominated neighbours, they hesitate to express today their democratic right to religion. Even the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, favouring Islam to be the state religion and ensuring equal rights to other religions, hesitate to retain Bismillah-Ar-Rahman-Ar-Rahim above the preamble of the constitution.

Readers respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Saturday's The Daily Star report headlined “They all speak of Limon's innocence.”

International

Bin Laden directing al-Qaeda figures

The wealth of information pulled from Osama bin Laden's compound has reinforced the belief that he played a strong role in planning and directing attacks by al-Qaeda and its affiliates in Yemen and Somalia, senior US officials said Friday.

US releases Laden videos

The United States yesterday released several videos seized during the Osama bin Laden raid, part of what US officials said was the largest trove of terrorism material ever collected.

'We have cut off their head and will defeat them'

President Barack Obama on Friday praised US special forces warriors who killed Osama bin Laden for a "job well done," saying America had cut off al-Qaeda's head and would ultimately defeat it.

Musharraf slams US over bin Laden raid

Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf has slammed the United States for violating Islamabad's sovereignty in carrying carry out the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, a media report said yesterday.

US drone targets key Qaeda figure in Yemen

US-Yemeni cleric and terror suspect Anwar al-Awlaqi escaped unhurt from a US drone attack which killed two local al-Qaeda members in restive southern Yemen, a tribal source told AFP yesterday.

Al-Qaeda chief's death 'game changer'

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Friday the death of Osama bin Laden could be a "game-changer" for the US-led war effort in Afghanistan.

Syrian forces launch deadly raid on hotbed city

Syrian forces raided the hotbed city of Banias yesterday and killed at least three protesters, activists said as President Bashar al-Assad's opponents proposed he offer elections to end the crisis.

Iraqi foreign exchange shop attacks kills 6

Gunmen attacked two foreign exchange shops in the central Iraqi city of Baquba yesterday, killing six people and stealing money before setting off a car bomb when police arrived, officials said.

Pakistan arrests 25 suspects

Pakistani intelligence and security agencies have conducted a sweep in the garrison city of Abbottabad, where al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid on Monday, and arrested at least 25 suspects.

Britain's colonial past to be revealed

A collection of sensitive documents from Britain's colonial past are to be made public through the National Archives for the first time.

Gaddafi forces shell Misrata fuel depots, drop mines

Muammar Gaddafi's forces yesterday shelled fuel depots in Misrata and dropped mines using helicopters bearing the Red Cross emblem into the harbour, rebels said, as they braced for a new ground assault on the besieged port city.

Taliban launch string of attacks on key Afghan city

The Taliban unleashed a wave of attacks including six suicide bombings on government targets in the major southern Afghan city of Kandahar yesterday, leaving at least 30 people wounded.

Japan rallies against nuclear power

Thousands of people rallied in Japan yesterday to demand a shift away from nuclear power after an earthquake and tsunami sparked the world's worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl a quarter-century ago.

Singapore polls close after high voter turnout

Voting in Singapore's parliamentary elections closed yesterday with the opposition hoping to reduce the ruling party's overwhelming majority after a high voter turnout.

Plane crash in Indonesia kills 27

A plane with around 25 passengers and crew crashed into the sea yesterday in eastern Indonesia, killing everyone on board, a navy officer told local radio.

82.2 pc turnout in fifth phase

An estimated 82.2 per cent turnout was recorded yesterday in the fifth and penultimate phase of West Bengal Assembly elections which ended peacefully, the Election Commission said.

Al-Qaeda chief's death 'game changer': Gates

US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Friday the death of Osama bin Laden could be a "game-changer" for the US-led war effort in Afghanistan.

Al-Qaeda to release Laden's last tape message

Al-Qaeda has promised to "soon" release its slain chief Osama bin Laden's final audio message, which was recorded a week before his killing by the US special forces in Pakistan's garrison city of Abbottabad.

US eyed strike in 2007: Rice

The United States drew up a plan to kill Osama bin Laden in 2007 in Afghanistan's Tora Bora region, former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice said Friday, confirming a New York Times report.

Laden lived longer in Pak urban areas than thought

Pakistani investigators involved in piecing together Bin Laden's life during the past nine years said this week that he had been living in Pakistan's urban centres longer than previously believed," The New York Times said

Pakistan's ex-FM urges resignations

Pakistan's former foreign minister called on the country's president and prime minister to resign yesterday following the American raid that killed Osama bin Laden, one of the highest-profile calls so far for senior officials to be held accountable.

Violence kill seven in Thai south

Seven people were killed and 16 wounded in a string of attacks across Thailand's far south that included two roadside bombs detonating within minutes of each other yesterday, police said.

China archaeologists uncover more Great Wall ruins

Chinese archaeologists have uncovered previously unknown Great Wall ruins in a mountainous area in northeast China, state media reported Saturday.

Britain decisively rejects voting change

Britons have voted by a majority of 67.9 percent to 32.1 percent against making historic changes to the electoral system, final results from a referendum showed yesterday.

Troops kill two students south of Yemeni capital

Troops opened fire to break up a Yemeni student demonstration yesterday killed two students and wounded 15 others, a protest organiser told AFP.

Arts & Entertainment

150th Birth Anniversary of Tagore

As Bangladesh and India jointly celebrate 150th birth anniversary of the man who put Bengal on the map, discussions and seminars are on, zooming in on virtually every aspect of Rabindranath Tagore and his work. But perhaps no other creative aspect of the bard is as pervasive as his songs. Tagore often used to say that his songs would live on in Bengal long after his name and his writing were forgotten.

OP-ED

Assassination of Osama and beyond

So the most wanted man in the world Osama bin laden was tracked down and killed on May 1. An elite force belonging to US Navy did the job. Several things should now naturally follow.

The praise society

A few months ago my husband got a speeding ticket on I- 495, the interstate highway that loops around the greater Washington area. While handing back the driving license with the ticket, the police officer said: "Have a great day, sir." Sitting next to my husband I was busy making a quick mental calculation of the hike in our auto insurance premium resulting from the driving offense. The officer's words startled me. He was, of course, being courteous, but, to me, his remark sounded hollow and meaningless. How could anyone "have a great day" after being caught for violating the speed limit and having to pay a hefty fine for it?



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