The Daily Star

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Friday, August 22, 2014


News of: Monday, 2nd of January, 2012

Front Page

Minister, adviser differ on power price hike plan

Finance Minister AMA Muhith and prime minister's energy adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury yesterday differed on the issue of possible power price hikes in the next three years.

Children get New Year gift

The New Year of school children began with smells of new books.

Caretaker must be on agenda

The issue of caretaker government must be kept in the agenda for making fruitful the dialogue initiated by President Zillur Rahman, said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday.

Buet erupts in protests

Three Buet students and activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League were suspended from the institute yesterday for beating up a senior student on Saturday.

Run business without fear

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government will do what it takes to bring back confidence among the businessmen who were harassed during the last caretaker government's tenure.

Dr Kamal seeks caretaker for next 2 polls

Gonoforum President Dr Kamal Hossain yesterday suggested restoring the caretaker government system and holding the next two parliamentary elections under this system as per the Supreme Court verdict.

Sayedee accused of looting, arson

Reinforcing the testimonies of two previous witnesses, prosecution witness Mostafa Hawlader yesterday told the International Crimes Tribunal that he saw Sayedee along with other collaborators looting and burning a number of shops in Parerhaat Bazar in 1971.

Govt may ask pvt producers to import fuel

The government may ask private power producers to import fuel on their own, as Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation is unwilling to bear huge bills for soaring fuel imports, Power Division officials said.

Sajjad still waits for his father

Every night Sajjad goes to sleep in the hope that his father will come the next morning. Morning comes a little more harshly --- he finds that his hope has been misplaced. Yet he does not lose heart. He puts his father's T-shirt on the pillow as he sleeps. That way, he feels the presence of his father --- caring, loving, warm.

JCD blocks road to hold programme

Shahbagh and adjoining areas of Dhaka city yesterday witnessed severe traffic congestion as Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, a pro-BNP student body, was holding a programme, blocking the road.

BCL men create chaos at SUST reception

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology unit yesterday created chaos at the reception programme of first year students reportedly for not being formally invited.

BNP standing body okays new alliance

BNP standing committee last night decided to form a new alliance, keeping the existing four-party alliance intact with an aim to forge a tougher anti-government movement.

PM takes a swipe at newspapers

In a tone of sarcasm tinged with ridicule, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday hit out at newspapers for criticising her government's reliance on rental power plants as a way of resolving the electricity crisis.

51 people disappeared last year

The number of mysterious disappearances and secret killings saw an alarming rise in 2011 compared to the previous years, shows a report of rights organisation Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK).

Road crash kills 7

Seven people including six of a family were killed as a car plunged into a roadside pond on Laksam-Sonaimuri road in Noakhali yesterday morning.

Quader for army help to tackle traffic jam

Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said he might take help of the army to tackle traffic congestion and stop plying of overloaded vehicles in the city.

Ghulam Azam, Kamaruzzaman appeal for exemption

Former Jamaat-e Islami ameer Ghulam Azam, and its assistant secretary general Muhammad Kamaruzzaman yesterday appealed to the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) to exempt them from the crimes against humanity charges.

'Muggers' kill Brac official

The body of a Brac official was recovered from Tongi in Gazipur yesterday morning.

Comments on PM BCL men stab policemen

The activists of Rajshahi University unit Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) stabbed an on-duty policeman and humiliated a police officer on the campus early yesterday on the plea that the latter made “derogatory comments” about the prime minister.

France backs US-led Taliban talks

France's Defence Minister yesterday backed US efforts to open peace talks with the Taliban, saying a proposed Taliban liaison office outside Afghanistan would provide a venue for those within the radical Islamic movement who are willing to explain their positions.

Editorial

The PM's baffling observations

We are aghast at the PM's sweeping and unsubstantiated allegations that the opposition BNP resorted to killing and kidnapping 'to fulfil its political mission' of foiling the war crimes trial. This is not for the first time she has said so; but the intensity of her tirade doesn't fit in with the current political vibe.

Textbook festival an auspicious beginning

At the start of a new year which also marks the completion of our 40 years of independence, we applaud the education ministry's initiative to celebrate the occasion by distributing free text books across the country among students of primary, secondary and technical education schools, and Ebtedayee and Dakhil madrasas. What could be a better way to celebrate the first day of the year than provide our tender-aged children with fresh new books?

Sports

Biggies prevail

Parity was restored in the Dhaka Premier League yesterday as the giants won their respective games, though life was made difficult for both Abahani and Mohammedan Sporting Club.

Fed Cup finals from today

The local football season begins in earnest today as the final round of the Grameenphone Federation Cup kicks off at two separate venues with no clear favourites among the 16 participating teams.

Trego the odd man out

Peter Trego is most definitely the archetypal odd man out in the Dhaka Premier League but the all-rounder made sure he stood out through performance as well in his second game for Abahani yesterday.

Navy, BKSP winners

Bangladesh Navy beat Bangladesh Police by 88-65 points in the Citycell 25th National Basketball Championship at the Dhanmondi Indoor Baskteball Gymnasium yesterday.

Local parties set to suffer

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday announced a 13-member Bangladesh A squad for the first three one-dayers and the practice match against England Lions.

Nahar Int'l School zonal champions

Nahar International School moved into the final round of National School Football Islami Bank Tournament after they emerged champions in Group B of Dhaka Metropolis zone. Nahar International beat Red Star International School 2-0 in the zonal final at the Haji Abdul Alim Eid Gah Field in Lalbagh yesterday. Kamal and Belal scored the two goals in the first half for the winning side.

Whatmore quits KKR

Tipped to take over as the coach of the Pakistan national team, Dav Whatmore on Sunday resigned from the post of chief coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) citing his inability to continue with the job.

Only Indian is Dravid

Only one Indian found a place in ESPNcricinfo's Test eleven of the year 2011 with Rahul Dravid making the cut while five of his teammates, including skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, were chosen for the ODI XI.

Fed eyes solid start

Roger Federer believes the momentum he achieved from his finest finish to a season can launch him to a successful defence of the Qatar Open title and a flying start to Olympic year.

SCG Test starts Tuesday

Sachin Tendulkar's search for his elusive 100th international century fittingly takes him to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for Tuesday's second Test against Australia, an arena celebrating its own Test ton.

Amol, Sahrda's double

Amol Roy and Sharmin Alam Sharda won both singles and doubles titles in men's and women's section of the Runner Group Victory Day Open Tennis Tournament which concluded at the National Tennis Complex in Ramna yesterday.

BGB retain kabaddi title

Border Guard Bangladesh ((BGB) reaffirmed their Kabaddi supremacy as they won the national kabaddi title for the 22nd time yesterday.

Sarfaraz sinks Azad Sporting

Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity defeated Partex by five wickets in their Super League match of the First Division Cricket League at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium yesterday. Being put into bat first, Partex made 174-8 in 50 overs. In reply Khelaghar reached the target in 48.1 overs with Reazul Islam top scoring for them with 83 not out.

Fixing fears at Olympics

Fixing now poses the biggest threat to the integrity of the Olympics, the British minister for the 2012 London Games told the Sunday Times newspaper, citing illegal Asian betting rings.

Big guns all misfire

Manchester United wasted the chance to start the New Year at the top of the Premier League when they suffered a shock 3-2 home defeat by struggling Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.

Suarez evidence 'unreliable'

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez gave "unreliable" evidence to a panel investigating accusations he racially abused Manchester United defender Patrice Evra, a Football Association report said on Saturday.

Arsenal lose Vermaelen

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen will be out for up to three weeks with a calf strain, manager Arsene Wenger said on Saturday.

Three more years, says Ferguson

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson marked his 70th birthday on Saturday with a vow to stay at the club for at least three more years.

Reyes wants Sevilla return

Winger Jose Antonio Reyes has told Atletico Madrid's new coach Diego Simeone he wants to return to his boyhood club Sevilla.

Dropped for dinner with wife

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson dropped Wayne Rooney from his squad for Saturday's defeat to Blackburn after the striker was discovered to have enjoyed a night out on Boxing Day.

Business

New Year hopes cheer up stocks

Investors yesterday bade farewell to the volatile days of the immediate past year, as the bourses started to gain with cheerful trading on the first trading day of the New Year amid optimism.

Banks' profits go up despite stock debacle

Private commercial banks weathered a steep downswing in the stockmarket last year to continue their profit growth.

Mobile users now 8.5 crore

The number of mobile subscribers crossed the 8.5 crore mark in December last year, a 24 percent rise from the same month a year ago.

Japan, India seal currency deal

Japan and India struck a $15 billion currency swap deal Wednesday that could bolster the sagging rupee as Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda made a lightning 36-hour trip to New Delhi.

Consumers spent 13pc more in 2011: CAB

Consumers spent 13 percent higher prices on average for buying essential commodities and services in 2011, compared to the previous year, the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) said in a statement yesterday.

BlackBerry's annus horribilis in Indonesia

Few companies better understand the difficulties of doing business in Indonesia than BlackBerry maker Research In Motion.

Remittance sluggish, reserve slides: Citi

Remittance inflow stood at around $11.7 billion in FY 2011, growing by only 6.0 percent, down from 13.4 percent growth a year earlier. A drop in overseas jobs for Bangladeshi workers, especially in the Middle East countries -- a major source of remittance inflows to Bangladesh -- contributed to a slowdown in the growth of remittance earnings. Although remittance inflow was weak in the first half of the fiscal year, it started to pick up since February 2011 with a rise in overseas employment. Remittance inflows in the calendar year stood at $11.02 billion till November, marking a rise of 9.55 percent over the same period in 2010.

Dhaka bourse gets new CEO

Dr Mosharraf Hossain joined the Dhaka Stock Exchange as its chief executive officer yesterday.

Let Chittagong Port run independently

Chittagong is the business hub of Bangladesh but businessmen often have to rush to Dhaka for various works with different government offices, which one of the main impediments to doing business in the port city, said Kamal Hayat, senior vice-chairman of Bangladesh Shipping Agent's Association (BSAA).

India opens stock market to foreign investors

India announced on Sunday that it would open up its stock market to individual foreign investors for the first time, in a major economic reform designed to boost overseas investment.

Metropolitan

Work in coordination with elected local representatives

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday asked the newly appointed district council administrators to work together in coordination with the elected representatives of two other local government tiers and local political leaders so that people can get benefit of the programmes taken by the government for their welfare.

50 shanties gutted, six cattle die in Chittagong fire

At least 50 shanties were gutted and six cattle died in separate fire incidents in the port city yesterday.

'End war crimes trial by 2012'

Speakers at a human chain programme on Rajshahi University (RU) campus yesterday urged the government to accomplish the trial of war criminals by this year.

5 killed, 20 hurt in road crashes

Five people were killed and 20 others injured in separate road accidents in Dhaka, Sirajganj and Rangpur on Saturday.

Youngone to restore Sonargaon museum

South Korean company Youngone Corporation has stepped forward to restore and conserve of the Sonargaon Folk Arts and Crafts Museum building in the suburbs of the capital.

'State-sponsored violence' aims to foil BNP's march

BNP Chittagong city unit President Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury yesterday alleged that “state-sponsored violence” is being carried out to foil BNP's upcoming Chittagong road march.

BCL men assault RU student

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men yesterday assaulted a student of Rajshahi University (RU) suspecting him to be an activist of Islami Chhatra Shibir.

FFs vow to help war crimes trial

Thousands of freedom fighters pledged before the Shikha Chironton (eternal flame) in the city's Suhrawardy Udyan yesterday to assist the government in realising their hopes about the war crimes trial's completion by December 2012.

Ershad optimistic about return to power

Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad yesterday called on the people to keep faith in him and said his party would go to power at the next parliamentary polls.

Centres for drug addicts on cards

The government will set up correction centres for drug addicts in all district headquarters while jail authorities will also take measures in this regard, said Home Minister Shahara Khatun yesterday.

1,000 DU students start 2012 with free Daily Star

One thousand meritorious students of Dhaka University (DU) began their journey into the New Year yesterday with free copies of The Daily Star.

Hearing on Jan 15

A Dhaka court yesterday fixed January 15 for the hearing on charge framing against 161 leaders and activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir in connection with a case filed in connection with the violence in the city's Kakrail area.

US diplomat Melanne to arrive Jan 4

Melanne S. Verveer, a top ranking American diplomat, will arrive here on January 4 on a three-day visit as part of the Obama administration's efforts to promote policies on women issues and peace and security in Bangladesh.

Base Textiles celebrates new year with workers

On the occasion of the new year, Base Textiles Limited organised a day-long programme on its factory premises in the port city yesterday where the company's owners, employees and some 4,000 workers rejoiced.

CJ reconstitutes HC bench

Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain yesterday reconstituted powers of a High Court bench, as the Supreme Court will reopen today after a two-week winter vacation, Kabir Ahmed, secretary (High Court Division) of the chief justice said.

Ultimatum to send journo Nikhil abroad

Journalist community leaders yesterday demanded of the government to send Kaler Kantho senior reporter Nikhil Bhadra abroad for better treatment within three days.

Hamidullah's qulkhwani today

Qulkhwani of Wing Commander (Retd) M Hamidullah Khan, Bir Pratik, will be held at his residence in Cantonment Bazar area in the city at 6:00pm today.

Inu for resignation of Gowher Rizvi

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal (JSD) President Hasanul Haque Inu demanded resignation of the Prime Minister's Adviser Gowher Rizvi saying that he was not made adviser to serve India.

NDC's capstone course begins

Two weeks long Capstone Course-(3), 2012 of National Defence College (NDC) began at Mirpur cantonment in the city yesterday.

Women claims body as her husband's

A woman yesterday claimed that the man, burnt to death in a bus set on fire by arsonists as BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami activists vandalised vehicles in Sylhet on December 18, is her husband Kazi Nasir.

Syed Badrudduja recalled

Speakers at the renaming ceremony of a school after Syed Badrudduja in the city yesterday paid rich tributes to the late former mayor of Calcutta and Member of the Lok Sabha. The school, known as Syed Badrudduja Institute, has been set up as a mark of respect to the late politician, a scholar and orator noted for his devotion to the cause of learning and social values.

12 get Noble Teachers Award

Ethics Club Bangladesh (ECB), a social organisation, has given "Noble Teachers Award" to 12 persons at a function in the city.

Teenager 'commits' suicide

A teenage girl allegedly committed suicide in the city's Tejgaon area as her parents did not allow her to go out to celebrate new year eve with her friends.

Train hits, kills challenged boy in Dinajpur

A mentally challenged boy was killed as an intercity train hit him in Chirirbandar upazila yesterday, said police.

GM Nurul Huda

GM Nurul Huda, former general secretary of Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh and additional director of the Department of Agriculture Extension, passed away due to liver and kidney diseases yesterday at the age of 73.

Adolescent girl electrocuted

An adolescent girl was electrocuted at Bandartila in the port city yesterday.

NSU convocation tomorrow

The 15th convocation of the North South University (NSU) will be held on NSU campus at Bashundhara in the city tomorrow.

Govt urged to control market

Leaders of Workers Party of Bangladesh, an ally of the ruling Awami League-led 14-party, yesterday called upon the government to control the market considering sufferings of the people.

Cuet extends winter vacation

Chittagong University of Engineering and Technology (Cuet) authorities have extended its winter vacation up to January 5, which was scheduled to be opened yesterday.

US university team meets DU VC

A team of teachers and students of five universities of the United States (US) yesterday called on Dhaka University (DU) Vice-Chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique.

Obituary

Begum Rashida Akhter, wife of late Prof AK Md Mozaharul Hannan and mother of Abu Rushd, the editor of Bangladesh Defence Journal, passed away at a hospital in the city on December 30 due to kidney related diseases at the age of 63, says a press release.

National

Agitators vandalise Rangamati DC office

A group of people, agitating for steps to rescue five abducted fishermen in the district, vandalised Rangamati deputy commissioner's (DC) office yesterday.

Free textbooks cost kids Tk 50 to 70!

Runa Khatun, a Class three student of Uttor Shalgaria Government Primary School in Pabna town, went to receive new textbooks meant for free distribution but she returned empty handed for failure to pay Tk 60.

Rly demolishes illegal structures on its land

Railway authorities demolished 68 illegal shops on its land near Chapainawabganj Railway Station in the last two days.

One killed, 35 hurt as rival groups clash in Narail, Madaripur

One person was killed and at least 35 others were injured as rival groups clash in Narail and Madaripur districts yesterday.

Narsingdi BNP leader Tareq sent to jail

A Narsingdi court yesterday rejected fresh remand prayer for BNP leader Tareq Ahmed, one of the charge sheeted accused in Narsingdi municipality mayor Lokman Hossain murder case and sent him to jail.

Irri-Boro farming on 15,000 acres in Satkhira uncertain

Irri-Boro cultivation on over 15,000 acres of land in nine beels (water bodies) of Satkhira Sadar upazila has become uncertain due to persistent water-logging.

27 held for attack on cops in Joypurhat

At least four policemen were injured by a mob at a waz mehfil (religious programme) at Baraki-Borail village of Sadar upazila in Joypurhat on Saturday night.

Eight suspected drug peddlers arrested

Police and Rab in separate drives arrested eight suspected drug peddlers along with hemp, phensidyl, Indian liquor and a car from different parts of the city early yesterday.

Arms, ammo recovered

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) recovered a revolver, one pistol and eight bullets from a train at Natore Railway Station early yesterday. However, no one was arrested, said Rab. On secret information, a team of Rab-5 raided a Rajshahi-bound Titumir Express Train at about 12:30am and recovered the arms and ammunition.

Fire kills 6 cows

Six cows were killed and other valuables burnt in a devastating fire broke out at a dairy farm at Basudevsri village in Sadar upazila on Thursday night. Fire service sources said the flame originated from a mosquito coil at the farm of Wahidur Rahman of the village at around 8:00pm and soon engulfed the entire farm leaving six Australian cows killed. On information, fire fighters from Sadar headquarters rushed to the spot and doused the flame. Fire service sources estimated the extent of loss from the blaze about Tk 20 lakh.

Robbers loot expatriate's house

Robbers looted cash and valuables worth about Tk 10 lakh from an expatriate's house at Chatul Muktapur village in Kanaighat upazila early Saturday. A gang of 8/10 entered the house of Dubai expatriate Yahia Miah breaking the door and at one stage, shot Yahia, leaving him injured when he tried to resist them. Later, the bandits looted nine tolas of gold ornaments, Tk 4 lakh, two mobile sets and other valuables keeping the inmates hostage at gunpoint and fled the scene. Yahia was admitted to Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital in a critical condition. On information, police rushed to the spot and recovered a local made pipe gun.

Youth murdered

Criminals killed a young man in Ranbagha area of Singra upazila on Saturday night. The deceased was identified as Md Shafiqul Islam, 22, son of Md Abdul Jalil of Bingram village in the upazila. Police said a gang of criminals stabbed Shafiqul near Ranbagha Bazar at about 10:00pm. Md Fayesur Rahman, officer in-charge of Singra Police Station, said on information, police recovered the body from the spot yesterday morning and sent it to Natore Sadar Hospiatl morgue for autopsy. The gang might have killed the victim over previous enmity, the OC added.

Letters

Democracy in jeopardy

A dangerous political turmoil is brewing in Bangladesh over the caretaker government (CTG) issue. There was a general consensus among all political parties including the ruling Awami League (AL) on CTG. Our apex court in its verdict also recommended CTG for the next two terms of general elections. But the ruling AL-led government suddenly and unnecessarily amended the constitution annulling the CTG system. BNP-led opposition parties have been vehemently opposing this unexpected government move and demanding the restoration of the CTG system. As a result, a dangerous confrontation between the two political camps is looming large. If this situation worsens further, the repetition of the 'one-eleven'-like situation may become inevitable. Taking advantage of the volatile situation, an undemocratic and unconstitutional 'third force' may try to grab power. In consideration of the above, it appears that democracy in Bangladesh is in serious jeopardy.

A great loss to the nation

May Abdur Razzak's soul rest in peace. In a country where there are few good political leaders, the death of Razzak is a great loss to the nation.

New Year's pledge

1st January is the beginning of the English New Year. A new year comes with abundant possibilities. We have celebrated the 40th anniversary of our glorious victory, but apparently we have failed to eradicate poverty and hunger and protect human rights. Let us promise to do our best for the betterment of the country. Let us build a country where there will be no hunger, poverty and injustice. Let this New Year be meaningful for all and bring peace and happiness to the people of Bangladesh.

Primary school without headmaster

The government, especially with Nurul Islam Nahid as the Education Minister, is undeniably sincere and endeavouring to better the education at the primary level. It claims that it is making all out efforts to offer better teaching and learning and to bring the dropout rate to almost zero. But many government primary schools are reportedly running without headmasters. So how the above goal could be achieved remains a big question. As a retired official settled in village, I am rather dismayed to see that Auliabad Government Primary School with enrolment of 500 students under Dohar Upzilla, Dhaka has been running without a headmaster for more than nine months. The previous headmaster was transferred to a place of his choice, but no new headmaster was appointed in his place. The school now has four teachers, of whom three are women, and two of them are currently on maternity leave, each for six months. Now think of the plight of the students! The School Managing Committee met the local education officers on many occasions to arrange the appointment of a headmaster. It also finally met the high officials at the directorate, but to no effect. The local education officers do not seem to pay any attention to solve the problem.

Human lives are not even so precious!

The other night, the death of a small dog got a prominent coverage on the local electronic media. It was reported that the ill-fated dog died as a result of consumption of unhygienic food imported from China. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is considering of imposing a ban on import of that particular brand of food from China after necessary investigation into the case and the importing company has pledged to compensate the loss. How does this sound to the readers back at home?

Don't forget Bangla New Year

Every country celebrates the New Year in its own manner and customs. The tradition of welcoming the New Year is an age-old practice. The English New Year is particularly celebrated by urban people and the Bangla New Year is celebrated by all the people of the country, irrespective of religion or social status. In Dhaka, people celebrate the English New year by arranging parties for their friends, families and acquaintances. But the young people sometimes create chaos while celebrating the occasion. So the law enforcers must remain alert so that no unwanted incident happens. But the Bangla New Year celebration is quite different and I love to watch people thronging the fairs wearing colourful dresses. As a child, I used to wait eagerly for the Bangla New Year because it would bring lots of sweets and yummy foods. I request everyone not to forget our culture of modesty while celebrating the coming New Year. Happy New Year to all.

US and democracy in Asia and Africa

A few years back, I read in the newspaper speech of a leader of a radical political party. It said that the day was not far away when they would be reaching the policymaking level at Washington. Today seeing the lack of US support for nascent democracies worldwide, I find that his prediction was correct. In the backdrop of US reluctance to support the democratic struggles in North Africa, smaller powers such as France and UK had to step in. Here in Bangladesh, we see that US policies are only strengthening the hands of the terrorists, war criminals and fundamentalists.

More production houses needed

Bangladeshi filmmakers have to go abroad to do the post-production work for their films because there is no such facilities in the country. We do not have the equipment; neither do we have technicians in Bangladesh to do the work. There are some production houses in the country, which are not enough for making quality films. As a result, our filmmakers are going to India, Thailand, and Singapore to complete their films' prost-production work. Now it is time we established a number of good quality film production houses in the country.

Border killings must stop

Recently, the Border Security Force (BSF) of India killed four Bangladeshis in the border areas of Dinajpur, Kurigram and Meherpur districts. These incidents occurred just after a conference was held between deputy director general-level BSF and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) in Shillong. At that conference, BSF again assured Bangladesh of stopping border killings.

Dynastic politics

After the death of the president of North Korea Kim Jong-il, his 20-year-old son Kim Jong-un has been given his father's post in this mysterious 'socialist' country. Is there no other person than this 'boy' to run the country? Actually, it is a system of monarchy in a so-called 'communist' state.

BRAC's commendable initiative

BRAC has taken an admirable step by opening a training centre for creating skilled drivers. I think this was a piece of greatest news of last year. It has long been the demand of the general public. Anyway, it is never too late. Very few issues can be as serious as that of road safety in our country. I strongly believe BRAC will be successful in its endeavour to check frequency road accidents.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star news report headlined “Mixed bag of bold steps, grave failures.”

International

Tehran tests missile as US tightens sanctions

Iran said yesterday it tested a new medium-range missile during war games near a vital Gulf oil transit channel, hours after US President Barack Obama signed a law tightening sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear programme.

Nasa probes enter lunar orbit

The first of two Nasa lunar probes on a mission to study the Moon's inner core so as to better understand the origins of planets went into orbit Saturday, the US space agency said.

Nigeria in state of emergency

President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency on Saturday in parts of Nigeria plagued by a violent Islamist insurgency, and ordered shut the borders with Cameroon, Chad and Niger in the northeast.

Pakistan, India swap lists of nuclear sites

Pakistan and India yesterday exchanged lists of their nuclear sites under an accord which prohibits both sides from attacking these locations, the foreign ministry in Islamabad said.

Child sacrificed, liver offered to gods in India

A seven-year-old Indian girl was murdered in a tribal sacrifice and her liver offered to the gods to improve crop growth, police in the central state of Chhattisgarh said yesterday.

UN on high alert in S Sudan

UN peacekeepers remain on high alert in South Sudan's flashpoint town of Pibor where escalating tribal violence has prompted thousands to flee, a senior UN official said yesterday.

Anna Hazare hospitalised

Anna Hazare, who has been admitted to a private hospital in Pune after suffering from a viral infection, is recovering and he should not fast at least for the next one month, doctors attending on him said yesterday.

BJP to launch anti-Congress campaign

Alleging that the Congress did not want the Lokpal Bill to be passed in the Rajya Sabha, the Bharatiya Janata Party yesterday said it will launch a week-long campaign across the country to “expose” the ruling party.

Denmark takes over EU presidency

Non-euro nation Denmark takes over the European Union's rotating presidency yesterday, voicing determination to solve the eurozone crisis by promoting consensus among all 27 EU members.

Britain to miss migration target

British Prime Minister David Cameron is going to miss his target of reducing annual net migration back to the "tens of thousands" by 2015, a think-tank warned yesterday.

N Koreans urged to defend Kim

North Korea called on the country yesterday to defend the new leader, Kim Jong-un, to the death, in a New Year message.

Powerful quake rocks Tokyo

A major 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked Tokyo yesterday as Emperor Akihito led Japan's New Year celebrations by urging people to work together in rebuilding the nation from March's quake-tsunami disaster.

Iraq deaths down sharply in 2011

Iraq's death toll from violence in 2011 fell sharply from previous years, figures showed on Sunday, as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called for the country to kick-start rebuilding with US troops gone.

Arts & Entertainment

Open Letter

Dear Fans,

Kibria Chhapchitro Mela opens at Dhaka Art Centre

To mark the 83rd birth anniversary of Mohammad Kibria, Dhaka Art Centre (DAC) has organised a three day printmaking festival titled “Kibria Chhapchitro Mela” at Dhanmondi.

Filmy-Bahas Presents: Tareque Masud Master's Class Series 1

'Filmy-Bahas' presents Berlin -based Russian Master Filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky in Dhaka as the first Master of the 'Tareque Masud Master's Class' (TMMC) Series 1. Victor Kossakovsky is a true film auteur, who directs, shoots and edits his own films. His films have won more than 100 prizes at film festivals around the word including Joris Ivens Award of IDFA 1993. His latest film “Vivan Las Antipodas!” was the opening film of the Venice Film Festival-2011. Known for being fiercely independent in spirit with a strong focus in poetics and reality, Victor is a big favourite on the international film festival circuit as an influential figure in the world of documentary.

OP-ED

Secularism

The constitutional commitment to secularism was grounded in our long struggle to rescue Bangladesh from the abuse of religion for political gain. Throughout the phase of Pakistani rule, greedy, corrupt and immoral political elites quite cynically attempted to use religious slogans to mask their anti-democratic rule. The abuse of religion reached its most degenerate form in 1971 when genocide was committed on large numbers of innocent Bengalis, in the name of religion, by a leader and his forces who were totally irreligious in their personal character and motivations. The founding fathers of Bangladesh were, thus, determined that in an independent Bangladesh no scope should be provided to similarly abuse religion for purposes of political gain. Secularism, as it was interpreted in our constitution, was thus never designed to interfere with the practice of religion by any individual or community or to discourage religious education. Nor did we go so far as to discourage any reference to religion in our public educational institutions or public sphere as is the case in some countries such as France with a strong commitment to secularism.

Rising value of US dollar

As 2011 comes to a close, the economic state of affairs in the United States is frightening. The economy has slowed considerably, many people have lost their jobs. Companies are cutting back in the face of declining consumer demand. Consumers are spending less because they are losing their jobs or fear losing them. It's a vicious circle.

This Day In History

January 2

366
The Alamanni cross the frozen Rhine River in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire.


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