The Daily Star

Your Right To Know
Sunday, August 31, 2014


News of: Monday, 11th of June, 2012

Front Page

Fresh tax on mobile calls

The government now plans to impose surcharge on mobile phone users at the rate of Tk 0.15 to 0.20 per call.

No hope of top leaders' release

BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and 21 others will not be released soon from jail since a Dhaka court has issued production warrants against them, negating their High Court bail in a blast case.

BNP's Dhaka rally today

The BNP-led 18-party alliance holds a mass rally in the capital today, a day after a 90-day ultimatum for restoring the caretaker government system ended amid reports of police harassing the opposition supporters bound for the rally.

Bus, launch service stalled

Bus and launch services between Dhaka and different districts remained suspended yesterday on the eve of the opposition's grand rally in the capital.

Emergency declared in Rakhine state

A state of emergency was declared yesterday in Myanmar's western Rakhine state, official media said, amid fears of further unrest following an eruption of deadly sectarian violence.

BGB on high alert

Border Guard Bangladesh is on high alert near Teknaf of Cox's Bazar, fearing influx of Myanmar citizens into Bangladesh as sectarian violence spreads in the neighbouring country.

Ghulam Azam's role was crucial

Ghulam Azam is responsible for the crimes committed by the auxiliary forces of the Pakistani army during the Liberation War since he had control and influence over those forces, the prosecution said during its opening statement.

Sangsad regrets

On behalf of the Jatiya Sangsad, Speaker Abdul Hamid yesterday regretted the recent “unwanted discussion” in parliament, criticising noted litterateur Prof Abdullah Abu Sayeed using “unparliamentary words”.

Police firing kills 1

A man was killed in police fire as villagers tried to resist the law enforcers from arresting him in Jhenidah early yesterday.

Road crash kills rickshaw van puller

A man was killed and another injured in separate road accidents in the capital's Kakrail and Bangla Motor yesterday.

Ministry finds Mridha among 5 responsible

Another probe body has suggested taking action against five officials of the railway's east zone, including suspended general manager Yusuf Ali Mridha, for their involvement in widespread irregularities in recruitment.

Saudi Prince keen to invest in Bangladesh

Bangladesh yesterday urged the visiting Saudi Prince Al Waleed bin Talal to invest in a number of sectors including power, tourism and infrastructure.

104 people grab govt houses

Krishak Sramik Janata League chief Bangabir Kader Siddiqui, a deputy commissioner of police, some of his colleagues and a number of retired government officials are on a list of 104 people who illegally grabbed an equal number of abandoned and government-owned houses in the capital.

Fahmeed in grand finale

Fahmeed Khan Sheehan, a class 10 student from Scholastica International School, has become the third entrant into the Grand Finale of The Daily Star Spelling Bee organised by champs21.com. Usually a very shy person, Fahmeed had to overcome his stage fright as well as topple nearly one lakh spellers to make it to the top six.

3 dredgers of illegal sand traders seized

A mobile court yesterday confiscated three illegal dredgers from the Meghna river bank at Sonargaon of Narayanganj and realised Tk 4 lakh as fines.

Railway to buy 16 Indian locomotives

Bangladesh Railway (BR) yesterday inked a Tk 609-crore deal with Indian company RITES Ltd to purchase 16 broad-gauge locomotives.

Probe finds 2 cops guilty

A probe committee has found two policemen and an Ansar member responsible for the death of a detainee in Gazipur on May 29, sources say.

Britons want Prince Charles as next king

Britain's heir to the throne Prince Charles has overtaken his son William as the people's preferred successor to Queen Elizabeth II in the wake of her diamond jubilee, a poll suggested yesterday.

Himu murder accused sent to jail

A Chittagong court sent Shahadat Hossain Saju, an accused in the Himu murder case, to jail yesterday.

Strong 6.0 quake rocks Taiwan

A strong 6.0-magnitude quake struck off Taiwan early yesterday, US seismologists said, but no tsunami warning was issued.

All 14 killed in Peru helicopter crash

All 14 people aboard a helicopter that vanished days ago were found dead Saturday when climbers reached the crash site high in the Peruvian Andes, officials said.

Editorial

Public servants as sinecure?

There is perhaps no other country in the world that pays some of its civil servant for doing precisely nothing. From a report that appeared in a leading daily Bangla daily recently, as of now nearly four hundred public servants are officers on special duty (OSD).

Physically challenged in the budget

The current policy approach to the concerns for the physically challenged, as reflected through the budget, has been contested by activists in the field. At a press conference organised by the National Forum of Organisations Working with the Disabled (NFOWD) on Saturday, the speakers made some important recommendations. Most of them thought that multi-ministerial approach should be preferred to handling by a single ministry i.e. social welfare ministry of the projects on the physically challenged people.

Sports

Italy hold Spain

Spain's gamble of starting without a recognised striker almost backfired when the holders needed a Cesc Fabregas equaliser to salvage a 1-1 draw against Italy in their Euro 2012 Group C opener on Sunday.

Rain halts Novak-Rafa final

Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic were locked in a tight French Open final duel Sunday when rain caused a suspension until Monday, only the second time in history that the tournament has not finished on time.

Change of guard

While the story of this season's Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League was ridden with chaos, never-ending delays and revenge, the underlying theme has been of local dominance and a subtle shift in the power-base.

Messi magic in NJ classic

While the Euro 2012's group of death lived up to its name for mostly unintended reasons on Saturday night, football fans here in Bangladesh rather wisely chose to switch channels to witness another late night battle.

Foreign power in semis

Ahead of the semifinal clashes of the Walton Club Cup Hockey tournament, all four semifinalists are set to field foreign players to ensure their final berths in the season's curtain-raising tournament.

Virtual final today

The Citycell Premier Division Basketball League will be decided today when top two teams, Europa Youth and The Gregarious, take on at the Dhanmondi Indoor Basketball Gymnasium. The two teams, with players from USA and other countries, have won all their matches so far and thus the last match turns out to be a title deciding affair.

Nat'l school footbal finals underway

The finals of the National School Islami Bank Football Tournament got underway yesterday at the Bangabandhu National Stadium with 16 teams fighting it out for top place.

WI's Best day

Tino Best's astounding 95, the highest ever score by a Test No 11, rocked England at Edgbaston here on Sunday.

Hostage to a flawed system

The May-31 elections of the Bangladesh Chess Federation (BCF) has become a talking point in the country's sports arena since the organisers' panel swept to a landslide victory over the players' panel, winning all the posts.

Wins for JDC and Junior Academy

JDC Udioman Cricket Academy defeated Bangladesh Boys Cricket Academy by six wickets in the 'CJKS-Urban American Under-18 T-20 Cricket Tournament' at the MA Aziz Stadium yesterday.

From Russia with Sachin

Russian chess grandmaster Peter Svidler, has used the 'Tendulkar' sobriquet to play online chess on a server popular among 200,000 members including Garry Kasparov. Svidler,

Hussey not touring

Senior batsman Mike Hussey has withdrawn from Australia's one-day tour of England and Ireland for family reasons and will be replaced by Peter Forrest, Cricket Australia said on Sunday.

Bolt unhurt in road mishap

Jamaica's double Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt walked away uninjured from a minor road accident early on Sunday, press here reported.

Viv not sure what Denesh meant

Vivian Richards told Denesh Ramdin to make runs for a winning West Indies after the wicketkeeper celebrated his hundred against England in the third Test here at Edgbaston on Sunday by turning on the all-time great.

Germany win ugly

Mario Gomez thumped in a superb 72nd-minute header to give Germany a 1-0 victory over Portugal after they had been frustrated for long periods of a cagey Euro 2012 Group B match on Saturday.

Old enemies at new front

England have an 'under new management' sign hanging over their door but there is unlikely to be anything 'nouveau' in their approach when they meet in-form France in the opening Group D clash in Donetsk on Monday.

C'Ron proves critics right

When Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo tore off his armband after losing 1-0 to Germany in their opening Euro 2012 Group B game on Saturday, the frustration summed up all that is wrong with his team.

Onus on the hosts

Ukraine's stuttering preparations for staging Euro 2012 have provided UEFA with continual headaches and things have not gone much better on the pitch for the tournament co-hosts.

Wasteful Oranje

Among the favourites for Euro 2012 and boasting two of the hottest forwards on the continent, Netherlands produced a shocking display of finishing in their 1-0 defeat by Denmark on Friday that could cost them dear.

Roof to remain open

The retractable roof of Warsaw's national stadium will be opened for the remaining games of Euro 2012, UEFA said on Saturday, saying a much criticised decision to close it for the tournament's opening game was due to a thunderstorm.

Respectful Russians

Russia coach Dick Advocaat and the country's soccer chief laid a wreath in Warsaw on Sunday to commemorate the victims of a 2010 plane crash in an attempt to defuse tensions before Russia's Euro 2012 game with Poland next week.

Business

Losses double at state enterprises

The net losses incurred by state enterprises doubled to Tk 16,880 crore in the current fiscal year compared to the previous year, mainly due to lower selling prices of fuel and electricity than their purchase prices.

Plan to tax insurance income draws flak

Life insurance policyholders will have to pay taxes on their incomes after maturity of policies -- a government move that industry leaders and an analyst find discouraging to long-term savings.

Internet may return to normal today

The internet may regain speed today, as the authorities are looking for alternative ways to route data.

Stocks fall as market optimism runs low

Dhaka stocks fell yesterday, as investors did not respond optimistically to the proposed incentives in the budget.

DSE launches online share trade

The Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday launched an internet-based platform for share transactions, an upgraded trading floor that will ensure more transparency.

EBL's $20m plan for sustainable energy

The country's Eastern Bank aims to finance $20 million in sustainable energy finance projects in the next five years, and avoid 200,000 tonnes of carbon emission in the process, said Fakhrul Alam, deputy managing director of the bank.

Reforms open Myanmar tourist floodgates

The hotels are full or eye-wateringly expensive, creased dollar bills are worthless and credit cards are widely refused -- welcome to Myanmar, Asia's next big tourist destination.

Jute exporters protest tax hike

Raw jute exporters urged the government to withdraw the 'excessively high' taxes on exports.

Airtel brings Tuition Alert

Bharti Airtel yesterday launched a new m-education service, Tuition Alert, for its mobile users in Bangladesh.

Exports go down for third straight month

Exports fell for the third straight month in May, according to data released by state-owned Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) yesterday. Businesses blamed the slowdown in exports on a dip in demand for apparel items in the Eurozone, which is now grappling with a debt crisis.

Where will the rupee finally rest?

For nearly a decade, the rupee has been stable -- moving in the narrow range of 44-45 to the dollar. But since August last year, the rupee began to slide and in less than six months was down 23 percent.

Bangladeshi garment smartens British schoolchildren

How smart do the British schoolchildren look in their school uniforms of shirt, tie, blazer and trousers or skirt? Very, indeed. And part of the schoolwear -- would you believe? -- is made in Bangladesh.

Eurozone agrees to lend Spain up to 100b euros

Euro zone finance ministers agreed on Saturday to lend Spain up to 100 billion euros ($125 billion) to shore up its teetering banks and Madrid said it would specify precisely how much it needs once independent audits report in just over a week.

Could Italy be next? Concern in Rome after Spain bank rescue

Even as the global economic community hailed an agreement to rescue Spain's stricken banks, there was concern in Rome on Sunday that investors could now begin treating Italy as the next weak link in the eurozone.

Metropolitan

Invent green tech to tackle climate change

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday called upon scientists to conduct more research on inventing local green technologies to tackle the adverse impacts of global warming and climate change.

ASP charged for torturing wife

A Dhaka court yesterday framed charge against an assistant superintendent of police (Barisal Range) in a case filed against him for torturing his wife for dowry sometime between August and December 2011.

CID official reiterates Tarique's link

Defence lawyers in the August 21, 2004 grenade attack cases yesterday completed cross-examining a CID official who had said that BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman had assured the attackers of a safe passage after they carried out the attack.

Indo-Bangla enclave people at Mamata's door

A section of the residents of Indo-Bangladesh enclaves in Cooch Behar urged Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to intervene to solve their longstanding problems like lack of pure drinking water, healthcare facilities, education and road communications.

Make registration mandatory

Make marriage registration compulsory for Hindu people in the draft of the Hindu marriage registration act, 2012, an organisation demanded yesterday.

Order on Quader Mollah's petition June 14

The International Crimes Tribunal-2 yesterday fixed June 14 to pass an order on the petition seeking review of the indictment order passed against war crimes accused Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah.

Arrested three confess to involvement

Three arrested in Uzzal Saha murder case confessed to their involvement in the killing before a court of chief metropolitan magistrate (CMM) in Khulna yesterday.

Hearing of rule on govt deferred again

The High Court yesterday for the fourth time deferred for a week the hearing on a rule issued earlier upon the government to produce BNP leader M Ilias Ali before it.

Eleven killed in road accidents

Eleven people, including two minor boys, were killed and five others injured in separate road accidents in Sirajganj, Dhaka, Rangpur, Chittagong and Jessore on Saturday and yesterday.

Atiur for women's right to know about their role

The country's women are contributing to the national economy in different ways, and they have the right to know about the reflection of their contributions in the national budget, said Dr Atiur Rahman, governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB), on Saturday.

Curbing requires cooperation of all

The government, transport owners, drivers, and passengers all should collaborate to reduce road accidents, speakers said at a seminar on creating mass awareness about road accidents yesterday.

JS body for massive afforestation

The parliamentary standing committee on water resources ministry yesterday stressed the importance of taking a well-thought-out plan to protect the Sundarbans and environment in the coastal areas through massive afforestation.

Projects for women's development urged

Speakers at a discussion yesterday called on the government to implement well-defined projects designed for women's development and ensure economic progress at all levels without discrepancy.

Rickshaw-puller dies as train hits him

A rickshaw-puller was killed as a train hit him at Mohakhali in the capital yesterday.

JU issues directives for campus peace

Jahangirnagar University (JU) yesterday issued directives to ensure congenial atmosphere and security on the campus following some recent unpleasant incidents.

2 boys die from snake bites in Narail

Two boys died of snake bites in two separate incidents in Narail sadar upazila early yesterday and Saturday night.

Housewife strangled

A housewife was allegedly strangled in Dighalia upazila under Khulna Saturday night.

Call to defer hajj money depositing deadline

To ease the devotees in their preparation for the holy hajj, extension of the deadline by a month from June 20 for depositing the pilgrimage money was demanded yesterday.

Three BNP-led 18-party activists held

Police arrested three BNP-led 18-party activists on Saturday night on charge of torching vehicles during a clash with police in Kazir Dewry area in Chittagong city on May 13.

Fire breaks out at Ctg warehouse

A fire broke out in a warehouse on the second floor of a two-storey building of an edible oil company at Boalkhali upazila in Chittagong yesterday around 8:30am. However, there were no reports of casualties.

Boy murdered in Keraniganj

A boy who sat for the SSC examinations this year was stabbed to death in Sonakanda village of Keraniganj yesterday.

Housewife 'kills herself' in capital

A housewife allegedly committed suicide by hanging herself from a ceiling in her bedroom following a family feud in the capital's Dakkhin Khan area early yesterday.

Two found dead in Gazipur

Two young men, including a former ward commissioner, were found dead in Tongi and Kaliganj in Gazipur yesterday morning.

Enamul Kabir new envoy to South Korea

The government has appointed Md Enamul Kabir, now serving as Bangladesh Ambassador to France, as the new ambassador of Bangladesh to South Korea.

Two held with Yaba tablets

Two youths were held allegedly with 550 pieces of Yaba tablet at Bakalia in Chittagong city on Saturday.

Bandartila road blockade over power cut

Hundreds of residents blockaded the Bandartila intersection in Chittagong city on Saturday demanding immediate repair of a transformer to ensure uninterrupted electricity to the area.

Obituary

Anzuman Ara Zaman, mother of Dr Wahiduzzaman, director of University Dental College and Hospital, passed away in the early hours of yesterday. She was 71.

Death anniversary

Today is the eleventh death anniversary of Prof MM Hossain, a physician.

Ataur Rahman

Today is the 51st death anniversary of Ataur Rahman, a politician.

National

Grabbers feast on relief, rehab dept lands in Nilphamari

A considerable portion of 3,602 acres of land owned by government's relief and rehabilitation department in four upazilas of the district has gone into the hands of illegal occupiers due to lack of proper monitoring.

Vehicles remain stranded for want of ferries

Resumption of ferry service on Kazirhat-Paturia route has failed to make the truckers happy as 40 to 50 trucks get stranded at the entrance of Kazirhat terminal daily due to lack of sufficient ferries.

Classes stopped to avoid Bipul murder backlash

The authorities of Hajee Danesh Science and Technology University (HSTU) yesterday suspended all academic activities of the university for five days to avert any further untoward incident following the murder of a student near the campus on Saturday.

Roadblock starts as police intercept protesters

Democratic Youth Forum (DYF), a front organisation of United People's Democratic Front, enforced a 21-hour road blockade programme in Khagrachhari district immediately after police foiled its bid to besiege the headquarters of CHT Land Dispute Resolution Commission in the district town yesterday morning.

Lightning kills 7, hurts 3 in three districts

Lightning killed four people in Nilphamari, two in Satkhira and a teacher in Thakurgaon yesterday and the day before.

Two commit 'suicide' in Thakurgaon

A girl and a housewife allegedly committed suicide at Ghonimoheshpur and Doulatpur villages under Sadar upazila on Saturday and early yesterday.

15 shops, 10 houses gutted in Jamalpur, Rajbari fire

At least 14 shops were gutted in a devastating fire at Jhaugara Bazar in Melandah upazila early yesterday.

One to die, 6 get life for murder

A court here yesterday sentenced a man to death and six others to life term imprisonment in the sensational 'Sumon Murder Case' in the town.

Abducted man rescued

A Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) team early yesterday rescued an abducted man from Rahihati Bazar area in Shibganj upazila of the district.

Housewife killed for dowry

A housewife was killed allegedly by her husband for dowry at Rainapara village in Belkuchi upazila on Saturday night. The victim is Jahanara Khatun, 25, daughter of Jamal Uddin of the village. Quamrul Islam, sub-inspector of Belkuchi police station, said her husband Matzul Islam used to torture her for dowry. Matzul strangled his wife at night following an altercation over the issue and went into hiding after the incident, said the SI.

Fugitive accused arrested

Members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) arrested two fugitive accused of a case in Kansat Bazar area under Shibganj upazila early yesterday. The arrestees are Kamal Uddin, 32, son of Nawsher Ali and Firoj Kabir, 21, son of Tokdir Islam of Nayalavanga village in the upazila. Police said on secret information, a team of Rab-5 raided the area at about 12:30am and arrested the duo. They were produced before a court that sent them to jail, said Jahangir Hossain, sub-inspector of Shibganj police station.

RMG workers demonstrate

Workers of an export-oriented garment factory yesterday blocked Narayanganj-Adamji-Demra road at Siddhirganj in Sadar upazila demanding arrears and transport facilities. Quoting witnesses, Quamrul Alam Molla, officer in-charge of Siddhirganj police station said workers of Reck Work Ltd at Godnail Chowdhurybari Bhuiyapara went on work abstention in the morning in favour of their demands. They blocked the road and burnt tyres at about 11:00am, halting traffic for about an hour. The agitators left the road following an assurance by police and ward councilor of Narayanganj City Corporation Ruhul Amin Molla of settling the matter with the factory authorities.

Man murdered

A man was killed allegedly by his father-in-law at Dhanikhola Jayerpar village in Trishal upazila yesterday. The victim, Badruzzaman, 35, son of Abdur Razzaq Sarker of Dhanikhola Bawaliapara village, is a farmer. Police said Badruzzaman visited the house of his father-in-law Shahidullah on Saturday night. Shahidullah hit his son-in-law with a wooden stick, leaving him critically injured following an altercation over a trivial matter. He was rushed to Mymensingh Medical College and Hospital (MMCH) where he died at about 5:00am. Badruzzaman might have been murdered due to a family feud, said Abdul Mannan Musnshi, sub-inspector of Trishal police station.

Roadblock for power

Locals put up barricade on Khilpara-Chandragonj road in Chatkhil upazial yesterday for about four hours, demanding smooth power supply in the area. The villagers of Khilpara and Chandragonj blocked the road from 9am to 1pm, creating huge traffic jam. There was no power supply for the last 20 days, said the angry mob. On information, police rushed to the spot and cleared the road. Contacted, Gopal Chandra Shib, residential engineer of REB, said they were not getting power supply from the national grid as per the local requirement.

Wall collapse kills woman

A housewife was killed when a wall of her house collapsed on her at Debdaspur village in Monirampur upazila on Saturday. The deceased was identified as Sakhina Begum, 30, wife of Haider Ali of the village. Haider said a portion of the wall of a room suddenly fell on Sakhina in the early morning. Critically injured, she was rushed to Jessore Medical College Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries at night.

Robbers held with arms

Police arrested three alleged robbers along with lethal weapons while they were preparing to commit a robbery at Sujalpur village in Sadar upazila of Jessore early Saturday. The arrestees are Jewel, 25, son of Abul Kalam of Kholadanga village, Golam, 26, son of Mokbul Ahmed of Sujolpur village and Shafiqul Islam Babu, 27, son of Meher Ali of Raghunathpur village of the upazila. OC Abdul Jalil of Kotwali Model PS said, on secret information, they raided the area at about 5am and arrested them after a hot chase. Police recovered a bomb, two Chinese axes, three billhooks and one knife from their possession.

13 rescued in Benapole

Members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) rescued 13 people, including six women and three children, from Putkhali border here while being trafficked to India yesterday. The victims hailed from Dhaka, Barisal and Narayanganj districts. BGB-26 Battalion Putkhali Company Commander Humayun Kabir said, on secret information, they raided Balir Math area of Putkhali border and rescued them in the early morning. However, no one was arrested as the human traffickers fled the scene sensing the presence of the border guards. The rescued people were handed over to Benapole port PS. The victims said the traffickers took money from them to send them to India promising good jobs there.

Letters

Bangla, not Bengali

Though we have been enjoying the bliss of independence for long, the legacy of the imperialistic British dominance still follows us. It is evident from the nomenclature of numerous institutions, roads etc. which were named after the British queens or governor-generals. The pronunciation of Bangla words by the British tormented us during the colonial rule. It is a matter of regret that we still pronounce Bangla words erroneously and impudently like the British. We still write the word "Bangla" in a weird spelling, 'Bengali'. Although it was quite late, our parliament, by the eighth amendment of the constitution in 1988, amended and recognised the spelling of "Bangla" in a deserved manner. Yet many Bangladeshi writers and even some government offices make the mistake of writing "Bangla" as "Bengali". We should enhance the dignity of our beloved Bangla language by spelling it as "Bangla," not "Bengali".

Distorting image of Dr. Yunus

Our country is facing so many problems but instead of improving the condition which is clearly worsening every day (disappearance of people, communication hassle, deteriorating law and order, to name a few) the government is busy with unimportant issues. None of the banks gave loan to the poor people before Dr. Yunus. Dr. Yunus saved the poor people from the so-called "Mohajon", who used to take 150 to 200% interest. Interest rate of many microcredit providers including some government organisations is significantly higher than that of Grameen Bank. The money taken as interest is being used to make Grameen Bank sustainable so that it can continue to help the helpless. Moreover, Grameen Bank is giving loan to the poor students with which many students are studying. It is also providing interest-free loan to thousands of beggars. People all over the world are getting benefit from microcredit introduced Grameen Bank. If Grameen Bank had not brought any benefit to the people, it would have failed long time ago. All the corruption cases against the politicians of the government party have been dismissed without any proper investigation whereas Dr. Yunus welcomed investigation of corruption charges against him. Subsequently he was proved innocent. But now the government has taken a vow to malign Professor Yunus. The government is planning to take over the Grameen Bank and make it a state enterprise. The result will be that the AL politicians' own people will be appointed in key positions and the profit coming from it will be shared by them. I foresee that this is going to happen to Grameen Bank. It will be a business enterprise of AL politicians and this will be done before the next election. In this way, by endangering the livelihood of 8.4 million poor women, this government is going to be the worst enemy of the poor in the history of Bangladesh.

Just observing 'days' won't help

June 5 is World Environment Day. In Bangladesh it was observed as we are very expert in observing days on many issues. Seminars, rallies, talk shows were held, the Ministry of Environment and Forest and the Department of Environment organised programmes: holding colourful banners and umbrellas and wearing caps, the participants took out processions. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, President Zillur Rahman gave messages on the occasion. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina planted a sapling and asked everyone to do so, saying that trees are very important to living a healthy life and it plays an important role to combat climate change.

Herald of new era of air travel

Few readers may have gone through the AFP news release, published on 1st.June by a local English daily. It is a significant event initiating the breakthrough for the up and coming fuel-less aircraft that will crisscross our skies in the future! It will herald the solar-powered airlines of tomorrow!

A black message

Finance minister encouraged the black money owners to invest in the national economy like in the past. It has become a culture of our country. Doesn't it mean: "Earn black money and take the chance of whitening it?" Thus the fields of corruption will be fertile in the coming days and our country will turn into a black hole.

August 21 grenade attack

The headline of The Daily Star of 21 May was about the involvement of Tarique in August 21 grenade attack. It is really shocking to see that the leaders of one party are trying to eliminate the leaders of another major political party of the country only to have absolute authority in politics. BNP was in power for several terms and their track records don't show anything much good. None of the governments is absolutely successful in promoting the interest of the country and keep pace with the rest of the world to make the life of the people better. But it can in no way be accepted that a party should be trying to eliminate another. But unfortunately, there were several attacks on Sheikh Hasina in different places of the country including the big attempt in Kotalipara and Bangabandhu Avenue. If Tarique's involvement is proved in this case, he should be brought to justice so that no politician in the future dares to attack his opponent. Many politicians have been killed and many have been abducted since the independence of our beloved motherland. If the big leaders are not safe in this country, where will we common people go?

Merchant banks' role

Merchant banks play a vital role in maintaining and restoring the stability of the stock market. Especially in a stock market like ours, their transparent and accountable participation is expected. Their designated duties include issue management, underwriting and signing due diligence certificates keeping to moral principles. Recently, they have allegedly been deviating from their key duties. Violation of rules by them would cast a negative impact on the capital market. Merchant banks should come up with research-based services for the clients so that the stability is restored. They have an important role in increasing the investors' participation through Initial Public Offering (IPO).

Railway bridge in peril

A few days ago I travelled from Chittagong to Dhaka by train. On the way, to my horror, I found that sand/earth being extracted from a canal using extractor, and the place of extraction is extremely near to the pillars of the railway bridge over the canal. The bridge is the one next to the Gomoti bridge towards Dhaka. The extracted sand/earth is being used for earth filling in the existing railway line to lay a new track. Extracting sand/earth from so near to the railway bridge will put that bridge in danger of collapsing. I would like to draw the attention of the authorities to this matter.

Huda's decision

Instead of doing what Barrister Nazmul Huda has done, he could perhaps play the role of an icebreaker for resolving the present political crisis. He could do so by exploring possible avenues and through communication with some of his friends/colleagues in both the parties.

Not a big budget…

The finance minister's comment that 'this is not a big budget' is true enough as taka 1,91,738 Crore equates to about £14.92 billion British pounds. For a clear perspective, Mayor Boris Johnson has a budget of about £16 billion for London; the richest man in Britain Laxmi Mital has a personal fortune of about £20 billion; and the British overseas budget (about 0.7% of GDP) is about £8 billion.

Readers Respond

Here are some comments that came in response to Sunday's The Daily Star news report headlined “One lawmaker says sorry”

International

Syria opposition picks new chief

The new head of Syria's main opposition group yesterday said the regime is on its last legs, as the death toll in the uprising topped 14,000 amid calls for military defections and civil disobedience.

Nato commits to stop air raids near homes

Nato will not conduct any more air strikes in residential areas, Afghan President Hamid Karzai said, after 18 civilians, most of them women and children, were killed in a recent raid provoking fresh rage against foreign forces.

France votes in key parliamentary polls

France yesterday voted in the first round of an election tipped to give the left control of parliament and consolidate President Francois Hollande's grip on power as he seeks to ease the pain of a debt crisis in Europe.

Secret of HIV's natural born killers revealed

Scientists yesterday said they had found a key piece in the puzzle as to why a tiny minority of individuals infected with HIV have a natural ability to fight off the deadly AIDS virus.

France to begin Afghan pullout next month

President Francois Hollande said Saturday France will begin its Afghanistan pullout next month and complete it by year-end, after four French troops were killed in a Taliban attack.

My life is under threat: Fonseka

Former Sri Lankan army chief Sarath Fonseka, who was recently released from prison, yesterday said his life is under threat and he needs to be provided with tighter security.

Congress ship is sinking

Sharpening his attack on the UPA government, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi yesterday said it has disappointed people as a result of scams, corruption and rising prices and taunted it for not realising that the “Congress ship is sinking”.

Hosni Mubarak in critical condition

Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak is slipping in and out of consciousness eight days after he was transferred to a prison hospital to serve his life sentence, a security official said.

Nixon was 'far worse than we thought'

Almost four decades after the infamous Watergate break-in, the reporters who broke the story have concluded that then-president Richard Nixon was "far worse" than they thought.

ICC team in Libya as staff held for 'spying'

A Libyan official yesterday said an Australian lawyer detained after meeting Saif al-Islam was being investigated for the crime of spying, as an ICC team arrived in Tripoli to try to secure her release.

23 killed in 2 days of south Libya clashes

Members of Libya's Toubou minority and government forces fought for a second consecutive day yesterday, with the death toll rising to 23, tribal sources and a local military commander said.

Church attacks kill at least 3 in Nigeria

A suicide bomber drove his car at a church in central Nigeria while gunmen opened fire on another church in the northeast yesterday, killing at least three and wounding dozens, officials said.

Top Kenyan minister killed

Kenyan Internal Security Minister George Saitoti was killed yesterday alongside a junior minister and four others after a police helicopter crashed near Nairobi, the vice-president said.

Arts & Entertainment

Articulating dreams, showcasing spirit

Fate has rudely shattered their dreams. Some of them are visually impaired, while some cannot hear at all. But fate cannot take away their talents. A group of differently-abled Chinese artistes proved their prowess with an amazing display of rhythm and dance as well as song at a programme held at the National Theatre Hall, Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, on June 9.

Athena Gallery of Fine Arts opens

Athena Gallery of Fine Arts opened recently at North Badda in Dhaka. The gallery is a subsidiary of Rafia Foundation, a non-profit organisation. As part of the inauguration, the gallery has organised a group art exhibition featuring works of both senior and promising painters.

Sarod recital by Prattyush Banerjee at IGCC

A true torchbearer of Senia-Shahjahanpur gharana, the young sarod artiste from India Prattyush Banerjee enthralled a packed auditorium at Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre of High Commission of India in Gulshan, Dhaka on last Friday.

Nazrul birth anniversary celebration in Sylhet

In observance of Rebel Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam's 113rd birth anniversary, 'Nazrul Janmothsab-2012', was held in Sylhet city amid festivity through a day-long programme on Thursday last.

Two-day film festival held in Chittagong

A two-day film “Indian Film Festival” concluded at Theatre Institute Chittagong (TIC) in the port city Saturday.

Puppet Dance Festival 2012 begins today

Drama and Film Department of Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy are jointly organising “Puppet Dance Festival 2012”. The festival begins today, and will continue till June 13 at Experimental Theatre Hall of the academy. A number of troupes from different districts are taking part at the festival.

Discussion

“Imaging the Body Politic: Visual Art and Political Culture in late-Colonial India”, a talk by art historian and academician Dr. Sanjukta Sunderason, was delivered on June 8 at Dhaka Art Center, says a press release. The talk encompassed the art and politics of South Asia in the mid-twentieth century, covering mainly the late-colonial and early-post-colonial decades of the 1920s-1950s. Reviewing both iconic painters like Abanindranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose and Jamini Roy, and the less celebrated ones, like Communist Party artists from this period, such as Chittaprosad and Somnath Hore, the talk sought to draw out the various dimensions of the 'political' that could be identified in art practice from this period. The talk focused on some of the ways in which political imagery was created, projected and circulated. On the aesthetics and politics of nationalist and socialist iconography from these decades, the talk dwelt on modes of reading twentieth century modernism in South Asia, keeping in mind current debates around 'non-western' modernisms or 'alternative geographies' of modernism.

Sajed Fatemi launches new album

After an eight-year hiatus, Sajed Fatemi has released his second solo album, “Ferari Jonaki” under the banner of Laser Vision. His debut album, “Koto Din Tomake Dekhi Na”, was released in 2003.

Elvis Presley to be resurrected

Elvis Presley is to be digitally recreated for a series of live shows and TV appearances.

OP-ED

Who to mind good taxpaying citizens?

The policy think-tank, the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), has termed the proposed national budget for 2012-13 as enigmatic. It hasn't, however, explained why and how that is so. But the common man who will be directly affected by the budget are undoubtedly confused. On any account, it is not a taxpayer-friendly budget. It is not only that owners of the undisclosed money (euphemism for ill-gotten money whether received through legal or illegal transactions) shall enjoy all the impunity, while the noose will be further tightened around the honest taxpayers' necks, by way of raising the payable amount of minimum tax from Tk.2,000 to Tk.3,000 without at the same time increasing the threshold of the taxable income of individuals from the previous ceiling at Tk.1.8 lakh. From the next FY, they will also have to pay tax even for talking on their mobile phones.

The euro's 11th hour

With each passing day, the noose around the neck of the euro zone grows tighter, with no indication that European leaders share any coherent vision for avoiding the hangman.

This Day In History

June 11

1184 BC
Trojan War: Troy is sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes.


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