The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, September 21, 2014


News of: Monday, 30th of May, 2011

Front Page

Labourers the founders

A few day labourers have set a rare example of devotion to education and the society in a remote village in Tangail at a time when many have turned education into a tool of making a fast buck.

Fund dearth hits vital hospital

The immediate past director of the National Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases (NICVD) is being investigated for alleged corruption in purchase of drugs, and medical and other equipment for the 370-bed specialised public hospital.

EC for role of voters

The Election Commission seeks to empower voters to file complaints with the commission against members of parliament if they conceal information or furnish false information about themselves in the affidavit submitted in the run up to parliamentary elections.

Khaleda returns home

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia returned home yesterday afternoon ending her 15-day visit to the US and the UK.

Zia's death anniversary today

BNP observes the 30th death anniversary of its founder and late president Ziaur Rahman today.

Gas crisis deepens

A sudden drop in gas production in Tullow's Bangura gas field in Comilla is affecting gas pressure to various parts of the capital.

Promises not kept by India

It has been nearly a year since India agreed to export 5 lakh metric tons of rice to Bangladesh. The rice never arrived.

HC asks for explanation

The High Court yesterday issued a rule upon the authorities concerned to explain within 10 days why they should not be given exemplary punishment for leaving a dead person in handcuffs for hours after his death at Dhaka Medical College Hospital morgue.

It's political instability, not climate

British High Commissioner in Dhaka Stephen Evans yesterday said the biggest threat to Bangladesh is not climate change but political violence and instability.

Mango trader jailed

A mobile court in the capital yesterday sentenced a mango trader to six months in jail for artificially ripening mangoes with calcium carbide, a chemical harmful to human health.

No room for rebels

To ensure unity in the party's city unit ahead of the planned anti-government agitation, BNP has decided to back single candidate for the post of chairman in each of the 16 unions around the capital where elections to union parishads will be held next month.

Power sector tops priority

The government has approved a Tk 46,000-crore Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the next fiscal year with the highest 18 percent allocation for power and energy.

Fish poisoned to death

Dhaka water supply and sewerage authority (Wasa) on the second day of a drive yesterday killed around 150 kg fish of Wasa sewage treatment lagoons at Pagla in Narayanganj.

Youth shot dead in Rangamati

An activist of a reformist group of Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (PCJSS) was shot dead by an armed group at Talukderpara in Baghaichhari upazila of Rangamati yesterday.

10 buses vandalised

A mob vandalised at least 10 buses in the capital's Khilkhet area yesterday morning after failing to get transport to reach their destinations.

Left parties want fair investigation

A number of leftist parties have demanded a fair investigation into the shooting of the college student Limon Hossain by Rab.

Germany hunts source of deadly E coli outbreak

Germany said yesterday it was pulling out all the stops to locate the exact source of an outbreak of E. coli bacteria poisoning blamed for 10 deaths, which authorities suspect may have originated in Spain.

Editorial

New power connections

That the government has decided to provide power connections in phases to nearly 12 lakh residential buildings and commercial units after a ban of two years is indeed welcome news. The Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) has already started giving connections to new subscribers. The fact that this is due to improved power situation in the country is obvious but doubly heartening.

Corporal punishment

The move by the education authorities to train

Correction

The first line of the last paragraph of the editorial titled "Toxic ships for scrapping" printed on May 29, should read "while we would like the …" instead of "while we would not like …" The error is regretted.

Sports

Club Cup MSC's

Mohammedan Sporting Club made light work of arch-rivals Abahani on way to lifting the 3rd Women's Club Cup cricket tournament yesterday.

June meeting pivotal in coach appointment

AHM Mustafa Kamal has said that next month's meeting will shape Bangladesh Cricket Board's decision towards hiring a new Tigers head coach.

Sk Russel, Brothers win

A stoppage-time goal from Abbas Inusah helped Sheikh Russel KC close the gap with the table-toppers after beating hosts Feni Soccer Club 2-1 in the Grameenphone Bangladesh League at the Shaheed Salam Stadium in Feni yesterday.

Humble Pep shrugs off 'greatest' tag

Barcelona may have entered the pantheon of European football's greatest teams, but coach Pep Guardiola is keeping his feet on the floor following Saturday's destruction of Manchester United.

Milon's bronze a solace

Bangladesh's hopes of clinching a gold in the first-ever Asian Youth Archery Championships and Third Asian Archery Grand Prix evaporated as the hosts were content with a bronze won by Emdadul Haque Milon in the Youth section Prix at the Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protisthan yesterday.

Gayle could play India series

They might be at loggerheads with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), but explosive batsman Chris Gayle and pacer Jerome Taylor could still make it to the national squad for the upcoming ODI series against India.

Draw looms in first Test

Sri Lanka finally saw the back of Alastair Cook in the first Test at Sophia Gardens here on Sunday but only after he'd shared another huge stand with fellow century-maker Jonathan Trott.

Few questions need to be answered

After a gruelling seven weeks and 74 matches, the Indian Premier League (IPL) finally came to an end amid the usual glitter and glamour but left unanswered questions in its wake.

Roger, Novak could meet in last four

Roger Federer set yet another record by reaching the French Open quarterfinals Sunday, and Novak Djokovic closed in on a pair of his own.

The world is his oyster

The disconcerting thing is, Lionel Messi has conquered the world at the age of just 23.

HOW THEY RATED

Victor Valdes, 7 - The Spanish goalkeeper could do nothing about Wayne Rooney's sublime equaliser and was rarely tested after that.

A touching gesture

Cancer survivor Eric Abidal was reduced to tears by his teammates' gesture in allowing him to lift the Champions League trophy for Barcelona.

'Best I have faced'

Sir Alex Ferguson saluted Barcelona as one of the greatest teams the game has ever seen and the Manchester United manager conceded: 'No one has given us a hiding like that.'

Hammam exits race

Mohamed bin Hammam pulled out of the race to oust FIFA president Sepp Blatter Sunday, just hours before facing the ethics committee of football's world governing body over bribery allegations.

Vettel breaks Monaco jinx

Defending drivers' world champion German Sebastian Vettel rode his considerable share of good luck on Sunday to claim his first victory at the Monaco Grand Prix after an incident-filled and dramatic race.

Upul fails dope test?

Sri Lankan left-hand batsman Upul Tharanga failed a random doping test during the Cricket World Cup, a Colombo newspaper said Sunday, though the ICC declined to confirm the report.

Business

FBCCI offers recipe to tackle cash crunch

The country's apex trade body yesterday suggested banks reinvest their profits earned from the stockmarket to help tackle a severe liquidity crisis that is taking a toll on the banking sector and the overall economy.

Heavy buy lifts stocks

Stocks edged up for a second day as investors yesterday started heavy buying following Bangladesh Bank's decision to extend the deadline for banks to trim their exposure to the stockmarket.

SEC gets two more members

The government yesterday appointed two more members to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for three years.

BB forms committee to probe banks

Bangladesh Bank has formed a six-member committee led by Executive Director SK Sur Chowdhury to probe whether commercial banks were involved in stockmarket irregularities.

Electric rickshaws run out of steam

Importers of battery-run electric rickshaws now mull a legal battle challenging a government ban recently slapped on these vehicles across the country.

Sony Ericsson needs Sony firepower for Android war

Japan's Sony needs to assert control over Sony Ericsson if the handset joint venture is to recoup market share and relevance in the cut-throat world of mobile devices.

BGMEA worried over fall in export orders

Apparel makers yesterday expressed their concern that the flow of orders from international buyers may decline in the coming months as the competing countries have taken different aggressive marketing measures.

Iraq cancels direct food purchases

Iraq's trade ministry has cancelled direct cash purchases of essential food items, such as sugar, wheat and rice, as a measure to halt corruption, Deputy Trade Minister Sweiba Mahmoud said on Sunday.

India's pilgrim trail: a godsend for hotel chains

India's pilgrimage centres are fast becoming hot-spots for hotel chains, as both domestic and international groups look to plug a gap in the market for quality accommodation.

Need for a poor-friendly budget

We often hear, particularly before the announcement of the annual budget, that the budget should be poor friendly. While this demand sounds very emphatic and appropriate given the socio-economic condition of Bangladesh, what it really implies is an issue to be explored. In Bangladesh, poverty has been a long standing and unresolved phenomenon in the economic and social landscape.

The Russians are coming to Silicon Valley

The Russians are coming. So far, the invaders are both welcome and unexpected -- these aren't the Cold War comrades who aspired to geopolitical domination or the first wave of oligarchs with their treasure chest of natural resources. These Russians propose to conquer the world's new frontier -- the internet -- and they are every bit as cocky as their forebears.

Rising from a speck of hope

Studying in a college in Dhaka, Dilara Amjad had time on her hands to pursue her creative interests. She and five other friends together started making handicraft items that were quite popular. But their dreams of starting something were short-lived as they all got married at about the same time and were unable to pinch out time to follow their interests.

Finance, no hurdle

With knowledge on crafting beautiful handicraft items, Yeasmin Morshed Chowdhury was still unable to start her own venture in the early nineties due to inadequate finance. However, nothing would prove to hold her back.

Youth development at the forefront

A three-day national event is to take place in Dhaka next week to bring together all the stakeholders working on youth entrepreneurship to better manage the youth of the country.

G8's last hurrah? Summitry evolves, not dead

The latest Group of Eight summit was "historic", the moment for the great powers to rally their wealth and arms behind the Arab people and staunch a gap in the spread of "Western" values across the world.

British Queen, Obama put Irish tourism back on map

After Barack Obama put it on the map by downing a gulp of Guinness, residents of the US president's tiny ancestral home of Moneygall have spent the past week greeting busloads of tourists.

Multinationals propping up US economic growth

US multinationals are propping up the nation's economic growth. While annualized first quarter GDP growth was a sluggish 1.8 percent, much of it inventory buildup, the private sector expanded more strongly, as did returns from overseas investments. With the government now reining in outlays, America's biggest companies are providing the economic stimulus.

Mobile devices useful travel companions

Even travellers going solo do not need to feel lonely, out of touch, or misinformed thanks to mobile devices, which are proving to be good travel companions.

Hong Kong mulls ban on Taiwanese imports

Hong Kong officials said Sunday they will consider banning imports from Taiwan, prompted by a food scare after the neighbour ordered a recall of nearly half a million contaminated drinks.

Nervous investors demand bigger returns

The world looks a lot more dangerous than it did only a few months ago and signs are that US stock investors are starting to demand more for the added risk.

Metropolitan

Maldives wants more workers, products

The Maldives will allow duty-free access for Bangladeshi products, including medicine, from the end of this year.

Garbage piles up in Ctg as tender game goes on

The project for purchasing two long-boom excavators to clean up the wastage from congested area of canal and drain sides has been delayed by two years due to cancellation of tenders two times "without any grounds".

Balughat playground recovered

Dhaka district administration yesterday recovered the Amligola Balughat playground at Lalbagh in the city from land grabbers bulldozing around 50 illegal structures.

Maintain dedication in peacekeeping

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon all members of armed forces and Bangladesh Police and other peacekeepers to maintain professionalism, honesty, dedication, courage and friendly attitude in peacekeeping operations.

Bus passengers made to pay extra fare

Many bus operators continued realising extra fare from passengers yesterday, a day after the communications minister warned that route permit of the errant bus operators would be cancelled.

2,500 newborns die a year for hormone deficiency

An estimated 2,500 newborn children having hormone deficiency at birth become either physically or mentally retarded every year in the country, experts told a seminar yesterday asking the government to continue newborn screening programme at hospitals to detect congenital hyperthyroidism.

Disaster casualty rate down in Bangladesh

Bangladesh should go for calculating disaster losses so that it could make prior investments to reduce peoples' vulnerabilities and economic losses caused by disasters, experts said yesterday.

Gas block bidding likely by July

State-owned Petrobangla may get the final nod sometime next June and invite international bidding in July for awarding the country's gas blocks, energy ministry sources said.

HC-formed body visits Mahasthangarh

A committee formed by the High Court (HC) to recommend ways to protect Mahasthangarh faced rowdy protests from supporters of Mazar Development Committee while visiting the archaeological site in Bogra yesterday.

MiG-29 graft case verdict on June 1

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed June 1 for the delivery of judgment in the MiG-29 purchase graft case filed in 2001 against five accused including Air Marshal (Retd) Jamal Uddin Ahmed.

Housemaid, worker 'commit suicide'

A female house help and a garment worker allegedly committed suicide in the city's Sabujbagh and Darussalam yesterday.

Two die in road crash

Two of three people riding on a motorcycle including a doctor were killed while the other was left injured in a road crash at Delduar upazila in Tangail district yesterday.

SC to hear review plea of Tarique today

The Supreme Court yesterday adjourned for a day the hearing on a review petition filed by BNP leader Tarique Rahman against its verdict saying the money laundering case against him can be run under Money Laundering Prevention Act 2002.

Azam Khan not safe yet

The country's Pop Guru and freedom fighter Azam Khan, who is on life support in city's Square Hospital, is not out of danger since his condition remained unchanged yesterday.

Demand for rail link to Cox's Bazar

Speakers at a human chain yesterday urged the government to allocate fund in the upcoming budget for the establishment of Dohazari-Cox's Bazar railway track.

Four hurt in bridge collapse

Four people suffered wounds as an under-construction bridge on Begunbari canal collapsed into the water in the city's Sabujbagh yesterday.

Brickfield fume harms farmland

Four acres of land with boro paddy ready for harvest was damaged due to excessive heat and fumes emitted from a nearby brick kiln at Dhantola in Gangachara upazila.

UPL book exhibition begins

Noted publishing house The University Press Limited (UPL) is holding an

Anti-tobacco signature campaign held

A mass signature collection programme on anti-tobacco campaign was held in front of Daffodil International University campus in the city yesterday.

Dhaka, Tehran for Palestine's independence

Bangladesh and Iran yesterday reiterated their unequivocal support for the establishment of an independent state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.

5 lakh children fed vitamin A

The national vitamin A plus campaign was lunched with the feeding of vitamin capsule to children at Ideal Grammar School at Boksirhat in the port city yesterday.

Adventure fest ends

With the promise of overcoming life's adversities, the week-long “Shah Cement Adventure Fest 2011” ended in Dhaka University (DU) yesterday.

Eight-day art expo begins at CU

An eight-day annual fine arts exhibition began at Shilpi Rashid Chowdhury Art Gallery of the Institute of Fine Arts of Chittagong University (CU) yesterday.

Indian sari, phensidyl seized

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members seized Indian saris, cosmetics and phensidyl worth about Tk 14 lakh in Sarsha upazila and Jessore town on Friday night and Saturday.

RU opens June 1

Classes and examinations of Rajshahi University (RU) resumes from June 1 after a 45-day summer vacation.

CU BCL man held

An activist of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Chittagong University unit was arrested yesterday in connection with the April 30 violence on the campus.

Book on hearing-impaired launched

Education of hearing-impaired people should be ensured to reach the goal of ensuring education for all, said speakers yesterday at a book launching ceremony.

National

Teesta Road Bridge misses third deadline

Construction of Teesta Road Bridge over the Teesta River in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila has yet to be complete although its third deadline expires today.

Huge number of wild animals, birds seized

The forest department with the help of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) has seized a good number of wild animals and birds that were illegally reared at a house in Jalaliya residential area of Srimongal town.

Polls to 322 Sylhet div UPs begin tomorrow

Elections to 322 union parishads (UPs) out of 332 in Sylhet division will begin tomorrow.

38 candidates punished for violating code of conduct

Mobile courts at Patgram and Hatibandha upazilas of Lalmonirhat fined 36 candidates in the upcoming elections to the union parishads (UP) on Saturday night for violating election code of conduct and realised Tk 45 thousand from them.

College teacher on remand

Detective Branch (DB) police yesterday took lecturer of Sonahat Degree College Ashraful Alam on two-day remand in connection with a case lodged against eight people here on Wednesday.

50 hurt in 2 clashes

Around 50 people were injured as rival villagers clashed in Natore and Bagerhat over land dispute on Saturday.

PCP office gutted in Khagrachhari

The office of Pahari Chhatra Parishad (PCP), backed by United Peoples' Democratic Front (UPDF) and eight shops were gutted in College Gate area under Panchhari upazila on Saturday night.

Criminals set AL office on fire

Criminals allegedly torched the party office of ruling Awami League (AL) in Matborerchar Shikdarkandi area under Shibchar upazila early yesterday.

Three Barguna Jamaat leaders arrested

Three local leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami were arrested from Charduani Dakhil Madrasa in Patharghata upazila

Letters

Create space for new buses

This is in reference to a news item appearing in The Daily Star under the heading “80 BRTC buses hit city roads Friday”

Save the small investors

Our finance minister must quit for failing to appease the expectations of the millions of marginal investors of the capital market who gambled their last penny in the hope that market will swing into action after the publication of the probe report and pumping out of proposed 5000 crores Bangladesh Fund to correct the market.

Globally honoured-nationally dishonoured

"US Embassy in Dhaka published the news in their web page, “On Tuesday, October 5, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law S. 846, which provides for the award of a Congressional Gold Medal to Nobel Laureate Dr. Muhammad Yunus in recognition of his contributions to the fight against global poverty. The medal is the nation's highest civilian award given to individuals for their outstanding deeds or acts of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States. Through his Grameen Bank, Dr. Yunus has pioneered the micro-credit movement. Dr. Yunus will become only the seventh person in history to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Congressional Gold Medal. Former recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal include George Washington, Sir Winston Churchill, Elie Wiesel, Pope John Paul II, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Coretta Scott King. Let's thank the White House and the global leaders for great attitude toward our lighthouse and Bangladesh.

Positive national attitude

I was proud to see the golden girls, our garment workers, who saved us from the recent worldwide recession. But how much respect do we pay to them? Today a bookseller in Nilkhet taught me the ethics of bargaining. Though his way of teaching me shook my prestige, it opened my mind to the fact that we are all the diplomat of our culture. A rickshaw puller realizes 500/- taka fare from a foreigner for a short trip, he also fleeces thousands of tourists everyday.

Israel's defiance!

Most local English dailies on 20th May, reported the strong and uncompromising attitude of Netanyahu (Nothing-you-can -do) the Israeli PM. That too against the head of the only global super-power; the President of USA! Obama may be the President; he may have the votes of most Americans; but Netanyahu; or for that matter; any PM of Israel holds more power than that in USA; on all matters that is Jewish! Yet that is the bitter reality, about the Jewish power base in USA! These are the silent, powerful and committed American Jews; who control the US government not to speak of the US President! Even Obama needs his thoughts and ideas to be cleared by his advisers (as reported in US weeklies). These powerful Jews decide what US can say and do on matters that concerns Jewish interests. Hence Obama was ticked off; straight from the proverbial 'horses mouth'!

The beast gets stuck

The car in which the US President moves around is nick named Beast. The Beast is usually air lifted in Air Force One, to where ever the US President Travels. Recently the US President was on a tour of Europe/ England.

Eliminate the difference

Grade or divisions are nothing but the measures of merit of a student. There should have been no discrimination between the marking criteria between these two. Unfortunately, some of the institutions do not maintain proper equality between grade and divisions. In division system, a student gets 1st division (highest rank) if he secures 60% marks. On the contrary, any student securing 'B' grade is understood to get 60% marks. Nonetheless, many public or private institutions describe B+ or A- as 1st divisions! This is a great discrimination. Because, a student must secure 65% and 70% marks in order to get B+ or A- respectively. Due to this factor, many of the candidates do not qualify for better jobs though they are eligible! The education ministry should pay attention over this matter.

Gentle dress for teachers

Teachers are our mentors and role models. The parents are only the biological origin for the children but teachers are the initiator of the inner talent and enlightened character development of the students. Everything of a teacher is likely to be followed by his/her learner. It is unfortunate that, basically in universities, the dresses of the lady teachers is so objectionable that sometimes it goes out of the limit. Wearing gentle dress is no barrier to modernity. Besides, the students of the universities are adults and concerned about every aspect around them. So, wearing dress in abhorrent manner can bring no good for the students as well as for the society as a whole. Everyone must know that the moral and ethical degradation is an integrated factor of such occurrences!

Telling lies

Many of us tell lies to prove ourselves innocent, free from crime and punishment. This has become a common phenomenon in our life and society. Most of the time whenever there is a theft or crime of any small natured the poor and people suffering from poverty are caught and given punishment. But whenever a rich influential or powerful person is found guilty of squandering or stealing a huge amount of money or committing a big crime he is treated differently, he is hardly given a small punishment, arrested or put into jail. This differences and discrimination always remain in case of judgment of a poor and a rich person.Whether our law and order situation? Whither our judiciary? Justice delayed is always justice denied.

Sound knowledge

A degree is a burden without sound knowledge. It is true not only for school, college and university but also for all the sectors of our life. Our students always get good GPA but at the same time it is matter of shame that they cannot do well in the admission tests or in their job interviews. What is the reason for such failing? May be bookish knowledge is the main reason. So I request to all concerned to deeply think about the matter and point out how we can overcome this problem.

Make impartial recruitment

The recruitment program of senior officer and officer govt. of Janata Bank is going on. Written exam result has been published. The date of viva voce has been settled for June 3, 2011. 2500 candidates will face the viva voce. However, the daunting news is that the NBR personnel's have started verification process of personal assessment before the completion of exam formalities. Consequently, whoever will be anti-govt. party will surely fail at last because the examiners will judge candidates based on local partisans' information without considering quality. It has created low spirits among the examinees. I hope that the authority will take necessary steps to recruit employees by a corruption free process.

Who should be new MD of IMF?

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund said it intended to select a new managing director by the end of June as a successor to Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who resigned this week after being charged with assaulting a maid at a New York Hotel.

Would professors lose job?

Professors are considered as knowledge banks and experts of the society. They through their knowledge and expertise produce new theories and impart education to the students through careful and appropriate screening of the learning materials, book being the basic unit. But with the development of the Internet now anyone can gather knowledge by search engines from among thousands of notes and references and can become expert. Books are also losing their necessity and appeal among the learners. What Professors do is to collect references from the Internet and make them fit to the actual need for learning and learners by adding their own knowledge. Now a student with minimum foundation knowledge can pursue higher education in any discipline. Even the practical for science subjects can be done using the Internet and other computerized teaching machines! Is this an encouraging trend?

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's Daily Star report headlined 'Teachers get no training'.

International

Al-Qaeda group seizes south Yemen town

An al-Qaeda group tightened its grip on a Yemeni coastal town while in the capital Sanaa a truce was holding yesterday between President Ali Abdullah Saleh's forces and armed rebels, hours after it was agreed.

Rebels hail G8 ahead of Gaddafi 'exit' talks

Libyan rebels applauded a G8 call for Muammar Gaddafi to go ahead of a visit today by South Africa's president for talks that officials said will focus on an "exit strategy" for the strongman.

Nato strikes, friendly fire kill 52 in Afghanistan

Afghan authorities said yesterday Nato had killed 52 people, mostly civilians, in air strikes against insurgents as violence picked up in recent weeks with the start of the fighting season.

'Ethnic cleansing' evident in Sudan's Abyei

Fresh satellite images of Sudan's flashpoint Abyei area provide evidence of war crimes committed by the northern army, including "state-sponsored ethnic cleansing," monitors alleged yesterday.

Jonathan takes oath as Nigerian's president

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan took the oath of office yesterday following elections judged as the country's fairest to date though marred by deadly post-poll riots.

US defence firm hit by cyber-attack

US defence firm Lockheed Martin yesterday said it has come under a significant cyber-attack, which took place last week.

French minister resigns on sex crimes

A French junior minister accused of sexual harassment resigned yesterday, two weeks after former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York on sex crime charges.

Lagarde to visit China, India for support

French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde said yesterday she plans to visit India and China and some African countries as well as Brazil to drum up support for her bid to lead the International Monetary Fund.

Maltese say yes to divorce

Overwhelmingly Catholic Malta has voted to legalise divorce, Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi announced yesterday, after votes were counted following a referendum the day before.

Mladic denies Srebrenica massacre role

Former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic has told his son he did not order the Srebrenica massacre of 1995.

Forces kill five in Syrian town

Security forces shot dead five people in Rastan yesterday after the army surrounded the central Syrian town near Homs at dawn, an activist said on condition of anonymity.

Mamata focuses on basic issues

After being sworn in as the chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee has completed seven days in office on Friday, a week in which she has literally taken the city of Kolkata by storm.

Cooling system restored at Japan's plant

Tokyo Electric Power has restored the cooling system of the nuclear reactor and fuel pool at the No. 5 unit of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant in northeastern Japan, an official of the plant operator said yesterday.

India pledges support for Palestine

India yesterday has affirmed a “continuing commitment to Palestine” and voiced support for “the Palestinian people's struggle for a sovereign, independent, viable, and united State of Palestine.”

Hong Kong mulls ban on Taiwanese imports

Hong Kong officials said yesterday they will consider banning imports from Taiwan, prompted by a food scare after the neighbour ordered a recall of nearly half a million contaminated drinks.

Nepali Parties agree to extend parliament

Nepal's main political parties agreed yesterday to extend parliament's term for three months, leaders said, in an eleventh-hour deal that will see the prime minister step down.

Obama to be hit by scandal soon

US President Barack Obama may face his first big scandal pretty soon, according to a leading political scientist.

Pakistan must tackle terror

India's prime minister called on Pakistan to wake up and tackle the "monster of terrorism" that threatens not only itself but the South Asian region, a report said Saturday.

Rich nations don't want to give up IMF power

India's prime minister Saturday said there appeared little hope that an emerging nation candidate would be chosen to head up the International Monetary Fund in the current contest.

Egypt arrests Iran diplomat for spying

Egyptian authorities have arrested an Iranian diplomat on charges of spying on the North African country for Tehran's intelligence services, state media reported yesterday.

Japan PM could face no-confidence motion

Japan's centre-left Prime Minister Naoto Kan, under fire for his handling of the response to the March 11 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster, faces the threat of a no-confidence motion this week.

Head of Georgia's rebel Abkhazia region dies

The head of Georgia's rebel Abkhazia region, Sergei Bagapsh, died in a Moscow hospital yesterday, as analysts predicted his successor will stay a pro-Russian course.

Shuttle Endeavour prepares to leave space station

The US space shuttle Endeavour yesterday prepared to undock from the International Space Station and jet back to Earth, wrapping up its final journey before entering retirement, NASA said.

Thousands rally against violence in Georgia

Up to 4,000 people took to the streets of the Georgian capital Tbilisi Saturday to protest the violent end of a five-day opposition rally in which 90 people were arrested this week.

Arts & Entertainment

19th National Art Exhibition Opens at Shilpakala Academy

National Art Exhibition brings about a festive mood in the local art circuit. The exhibition is organised by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA). This year's exhibition (19th instalment), displays 265 artworks by 211 artists. At the National Art Gallery, BSA, 179 paintings, 39 prints, 26 sculptures, four tapestries and 17 installations are on display.

An Anthology of Kazi Nazrul Islam's Writings for Children

Book launches are significant for authors and publishers, as well as avid readers. The launch of an anthology of Kazi Nazrul Islam's writings for children, titled “Nazrul Shishu-Kishore Shamagra”, at VIP Lounge of the Press Club in Dhaka on May 28, saw renowned poets, thinkers and journalists of the country.

Sarod recital by Abhisek Lahiri

The Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre, High Commission of India, organised a recital featuring noted Indian sarod player Abhisek Lahiri on May 28 at the National Music and Dance Centre Auditorium, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy. At the concert, Lahiri's incredible performance had the full-house rapt for about an hour and half.

Upbeat about Bangladeshi Theatre

Rebecca Lee was in Dhaka recently as one of the members of Buds Theatre Company, Singapore. The troupe staged the play “Shades” on the inaugural day of the 1st Dhaka International Theatre Festival. Lee both produced and acted in the play. Lee is also the education director of her theatre troupe.

Rabindra-Nazrul birth anniversaries celebrated in Tangail

The 150th birth anniversary of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and 112th birth anniversary of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam were jointly celebrated in Tangail town on Saturday with a vow to follow the ideals of the pioneers of Bangla literature in all walks of life.

Remembering an Artistic Genius

A discussion was held marking the 35th death anniversary of Shilpacharya Zainul Abedin, a pioneer of modern art, at the premises of Zainul Abedin Sangrahashala (art gallery) on May 28.

Barisal Divisional Theatre Fest Ends

The eight-day 'Barisal Bivagio Natya Utsab' (divisional theatre festival), ended in Jhalakathi district town Friday night with a call for encouraging traditions and heritage.

Three-day Cultural Fair Concludes in Port City

A three-day long District Cultural Fair concluded in the port city on Saturday. The Chittagong District Administration arranged the fair at the local Shilpakala Academy premises.

OP-ED

Diplomatic faux pas and our politics

Since long we have got used to foreign diplomats passing comments about sensitive national issues that go beyond diplomatic decency or norms. Disgruntled politicians have often expressed their unhappiness over such comments, but often they prefer not to make hurt feelings official. To give vent to their resentments, piqued citizens write in the letter/opinion columns of newspapers or express their reservations at the talk shows in the electronic media. But seldom have the political governments been found to come up with fitting responses to such diplomatic faux pas by foreigners.

Pakistan's agony

Pakistan is in great trouble. Never in its sixty-four year history had the country been confronted with such a grievous crisis like the one it faces right now. It seems that the very existence of Pakistan as a sovereign state is at stake. Why is Pakistan in such a sorry state? There are compelling reasons to be considered.



The Daily Star

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