• Saturday, November 01, 2014

Op-Ed

Editorial

  • Editorial

    Faking freedom fighter identity

    A highly culpable offence

    WE are appalled that a top leader of the war heroes' platform, Muktijoddha Sangsad, has been found to be a fraud with a fake freedom fighters' certificate, according to a probe by the ACC.   The malpractice of using forged certificates by people in positions of power has become pervasive and is a cause of grave concern for the nation. The ACC last month identified five high-ranking government officials, including three incumbent secretaries, who obtained fake freedom fighter certificates. Another 70,000 people, many of whom are civil servants, are under scrutiny for forged certificates. There is no denying that obtaining these false certificates signifies moral corruption at its worst. The perpetrators have grossly defiled the meaning of the Liberation War and the sacrifice of freedom fighters for the enjoyment of benefits and privileges due to war heroes. They have used these fake identities to seal powerful positions in the government and other important pro-liberation platforms. We maintain that revoking the titles of these frauds who have not only cheated the offices they serve but the nation at large is simply not enough. The government is yet to declare when, if at all, any legal action against the perpetrators will...

Opinion

Maritime crimes: Bangladeshis in Thai jungle

Maritime crimes: Bangladeshis in Thai jungle

NOT much time has passed since the BBC online reported the heart-rending news of discovery of 171 people, mainly Bangladeshis, from Thai jungle camps. The Bangladeshis are victims of organised slave trade. Tempted by the prospect of jobs, they were taken to be sold as slaves. Bangladeshis seeking work in South East Asian...

BETWEEN THE LINES

Action more important than disclosure of names

IN the midst of debate on the illegal foreign account holders, the names of those who were given amnesty a few days before the debate have been forgotten. Apparently, they are from both the main political parties, the Congress and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). Otherwise, the shouting would not have stopped in such a short time. One other noticeable point is that there has not been even a cursory mention of how the account holders came to accumulate...

The curry at a crossroads

HUMOURIST Naveed Mahbub titled one of his columns Korma Karma (The Daily Star September 26, 2014), narrating story of the glamorous curry kingdom of the 'Chefs from Sylhet' in the United Kingdom. The story of the 'curry' travelling all the way across the riverine routes and the oceanic depths is the subject of this article. Mr. Mahbub has mentioned that one Sake Dean Mahomed is reputed to have started the first curry house in Britain, named Hindustani Coffee House, in...

BITTER TRUTH

University admission test: Hasty decision will not help

THE decision of the Dhaka University (DU) authorities to ban admission seekers from sitting for admission test for the second time is a pragmatic one considering the situation. But it has put the admission seekers of 2014 batch in a quandary because they were caught unprepared by the abrupt decision. There is no denying that allowing the students to sit for the test a second time forces first time admission seekers to face unequal competition. Students passing the HSC...

Shah Jalal Intl. Airport

The ninth worst airport in Asia

  SHAH Jalal International Airport has been ranked as the ninth worst airport in Asia in a survey conducted by an organisation called Sleeping in Airports. Passengers who had the privilege of passing through this airport will know very well why it made it to the list of worst airports in Asia. Compared to a decade ago the quality of service at this airport has improved, but it is still below par when compared to other international airports. Some of the...

Hartal: Children the sufferers

JAMAAT has called for 72 hours of hartal on Thursday, Sunday and Monday. When one hears such news, the things that come to mind are economic shutdown, destruction of vehicles and adults getting hurt. But how many people think about the children?   I went to a local hospital during hartal in December, 2013. The cries of innumerable mothers could be heard in the background; the mothers of Shanto, Lal mia, Murad, Belal, Sumi, Surma, Rony, Riad, Hasan, Lima and...

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Letters

Letters To The Editor

Exploitation-free society remains a dream

More than four decades ago Bangladesh came into being at a great cost of life and property. The immense sacrifices were made to free the people from exploitation. Now Bangladesh is an independent country and there are no foreign rulers, but has exploitation stopped? No, ordinary people are still being oppressed by the rulers and their goons. We never expected this in a free country. The promise of an exploitation free society made by the political   leaders remains a far...

Letters To The Editor

A boy with a difference

Last week while I was passing by the Bhahadur Shah Park near Jagannath University, I saw a blind boy playing pipe sweetly. There was a small crowd around him. When he finished playing, everyone gave him some money. When I found him alone, I asked him his whereabouts. “I don't beg as I think it is an inferior job. I give people pleasure by playing the pipe. And they happily give me something. I somehow manage,” replied the eight-year...

Letters To The Editor

Bt brinjal brings sorrow for farmers

The government gave permission for cultivating Bt brinjal in Bangladesh in October 2013. This GM crop is resistant to pests but after cultivating the Bt brinjal, the farmers faced huge loss as most of the plants wilted and died. Chemical composition of the soil changes as this invasive plant requires different type of nutrients. Moreover, it is quite unfair to cultivate and market this veggie without diagnosing its impact on human health. Bt brinjal is resistant to pests; so would...

Comments on news report

“Mirpur Biharis' cry for justice,” published on October 27, 2014 M Ali They should either be repatriated to Pakistan or given full citizenship by Bangladesh according to their wish. Dev Saha Biharis have become persona non grata with no place to go. **** “Three deals signed” (Oct. 28, 2014) SM What are there for Bangladesh in these deals? These are bi-lateral agreements with no substantial value. **** “Gas hope for winter” (Oct. 28, 2014) S.M. Iftekhar Ahmed Very good news indeed. Perhaps the country has more gas reserves which still remain...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 31, 2014
Don't we deserve better from police?

Two days ago, a group of young men, aged around 20, suddenly started banging around our home at Mirpur with drums, sticks, whistles and other local instruments without any apparent reason. All our neighbours and my family members got very annoyed. I thought it wouldn't be wise to go to them alone to tell them to stop, so I called the Dhaka Metropolitan Police. But they didn't even take my address and hung up saying, “We will watch the...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 31, 2014
A fun way to learn English

I'm very glad that The Daily Star has a page named 'English in Schools'. This page is really very helpful and encouraging for the children who are weak in English. It helps them learn English in an easy way as well as increases their vocabulary. Moreover, children can have fun while learning because of the colourful pictures. Heartiest thanks to The Daily Star for this praiseworthy step. Afrah Aanan Viqarunnisa Noon School & College

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 31, 2014
Valuable quotes for Tigers

This is in response to the letter of Aminur Rahim, “Tips for our batsmen to avoid being trapped,” published in your esteemed daily on 24 October. I appreciate his valuable tips for our batsmen for the Test series against Zimbabwe. Recently, former Indian president APJ Abdul Kalam visited Bangladesh on the occasion of 110th founding anniversary of MCCI. He met 700 students in a dialogue at Sonargaon Hotel and gave an inspirational speech, calling upon them to dream great and...

Published Date: October 31, 2014
Comments on news report

“Still knotted,” published on October 28, 2014 SM So she went there to have a chat! Looks like the new foreign minister is only getting meetings and chats, nothing substantial. Who is paying for these joyrides? **** “Women workers welcome” (Oct. 27, 2014) Abdullah Al Fahad Women domestic workers go through inhuman exploitation, beating, rape, etc in UAE. Before sending more women there, make sure their safety is ensured. FM Sajid Bin Hossain As long as UAE employers are able to recruit female workers from developing countries...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 30, 2014
World's worst airport!

Recently I was reading a survey report carried out by a website 'Sleeping at Airports' which classified 10 worst airports of the world having dirty bathrooms, large crowds, bad food, etc. The site's annual ranking was based on tourist surveys that asked about comfort and crowds at terminals, Wi-Fi, food options, and overall cleanliness. Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto International Airport has been rated as the world's worst airport while New York's LaGuardia Airport ranked at number 10. Thanks heavens, our airport's...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 30, 2014
Mysterious space plane

This refers to the report, “Mysterious US secret plane lands after 2-yr mission” (Oct.19). The space plane flew over Pakistan, North Korea, Iran and China. Was it spying over terrorists and nuclear facilities of these nations? Is it a space fighter from which missiles can be launched at the desired nation on the earth? This possibility is strong, as nations like Russia and the US are reported to be developing space missiles. Is this US answer to Russia developing...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 30, 2014
Are we to suffer forever?

The brave people of this nation have fought hard and made great sacrifices in earning the country's independence. We were oppressed by the British, then the Pakistanis, and we are still being repressed by our own rulers. How sad and tormenting it is for a nation! The atrocities committed by the cadres of political parties, lawlessness of law enforcing agencies and the tyranny of the administration are simply unbearable. When will we get rid of this vicious evil cycle? One On...

Published Date: October 30, 2014
Comments on news report

“All 7 acquitted, thanks to ACC,” published on October 27, 2014 S. M. Iftekhar Ahmed The word 'anti' from the Anti-Corruption Commission needs to be removed. Nazmul Haq Congratulations to the cartoonist. An excellent and very appropriate cartoon. ***** “It's equivalent to Tk 675,398cr” (Oct. 26, 2014) Mahboob Hossain At last their contribution has been recognised. OpeeMonir Thank you for informing us. We need to salute our women in every aspect of our life. ***** “Bangladesh joins AIIB: Implications” (Oct. 26, 2014) Uddin It is a very wise decision to join AIIB. Bangladesh...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 29, 2014
The red Toyota

With the passing of Ghulam Azam, those of us who lived in Dhaka in 1971 are reminded of the red Toyota sedan which frequently stopped outside the doors of friends and neighbours and collected a member of the household who was never seen again. The vehicle was one of those used by Ghulam Azam's Al-Badr and Al-Shams' Razakars to spirit away people who were thought to be the enemies of Pakistan. That red Toyota returned to Dhaka recently. Ask not,...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 29, 2014
DRS, use of technology should go together

DRS, use of technology should go together

During the West Indies tour DRS was used. It was very difficult to see if the ball had nicked the bat and without the use of hotspot or snickometer technology, the umpires' decision could not be reversed. Even in the BD-Zimbabwe series, it has been inconclusive whether the ball touched Riyadh's bat or...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: October 29, 2014
Extortion by railway men

The passenger trains heading towards Chittagong railway station are made to stop at Dewanhat overbridge area so that those travelling without tickets can get down. At that point, a section of railwaymen extorts money from the passengers travelling without tickets. It is not only the local trains that stop at Dewanhat area, the inter-city trains also do the same. The quality of service offered by the railway is getting worse day by day. We hope the authorities will look...

Published Date: October 29, 2014
Comments on news report

“Haunted forever,” published on October 25, 2014 Zia Very tragic story indeed. Why aren't the human rights organisations playing any role here? I believe that Yasin's death was a planned murder and wasn't a road accident at all. Why don't the police investigate? ****** “The evil that men do….” (Oct. 25, 2014) Rahman Mostafiz He cannot be forgotten and forgiven because of his nefarious role in 1971. Dev Saha Ironically, people who have been patronising the devil would be still in place and justify his cruel crimes...

More

Editorial

Published Date: October 31, 2014
Jamaat's 3-day hartal

THE 3-day hartal called by Jamaat, which will, in essence, put the country on a six-day hiatus, is totally unacceptable. The party must respect the verdict given by the International War Crimes Tribunal and follow due process of the law. If it disagrees with the death sentence, it can appeal against the verdict, as it has done in all previous cases, instead of imposing hartals and causing immeasurable sufferings to common people. The party iscurrently, on one hand, partaking in...

Editorial

Published Date: October 31, 2014
Upholding children's rights

IN a recent meeting attended by the government, human rights bodies and the United Nations Population Fund, the complex issue of protecting children's rights was discussed in detail. What emerged was that not one but several interventions are needed in tandem if rights of children and adolescents were to be protected. With more than half the urban and 7 out of 10 rural women ending up in child marriages and nearly 1 in 8 girls giving birth before the...

CROSS TALK

Published Date: October 31, 2014
Ghulam Azam and our revenge paradox

Ghulam Azam and our revenge paradox

DEATH solves all problems -- no man, no problem,” Joseph Stalin is quoted as saying in Anatoly Rybakov's 1987 novel Children of the Arbat. If the late Russian ruler had indeed said those words, he must be turning in his grave since Ghulam Azam died last Friday. Death didn't solve all problems for...

Commentary by Mahfuz Anam

Published Date: October 31, 2014
The meaning of Nizami's verdict

The meaning of Nizami's verdict

It is not revenge. It is not retribution. It is not settling of accounts. And politics, it is definitely not.  It is meting out justice. It is holding political leaders accountable for their action especially if they commit crimes against humanity. It is fulfilling an inner urge for justice and fair play. In...

Published Date: October 31, 2014
Reflecting on the 3rd US-Bangla dialogue

BASED on reports appaering in various media , it can be undenaibly said that, as a continuation of the US-Bangladesh's annual partnership dialogue, the recently held third dialogue has eneded positvely. The two countries had covered all the expected areas, for instance -- security co-operation, coast guard , cliamte change, peacekeeping and certain areas of US concern like workers' safety and labour rights in Bangladesh. Moreover the countries had reviewd the progress in the existing fields of co-operation. On the...

PLEASURE IS ALL MINE

Published Date: October 31, 2014
Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

WE have an unc-anny genius not to notice any change in tone, temper and texture of the overall political atmosphere so possessed are we with our programmed inputs like robots. Soon perhaps, we will be entering the animated phase of robotic technology which is in for taking over some human loads, as it is. Only that we are ready candidates for such an unthinking existential transformation. It risks replacing application of human intelligence to be constantly improving not regressing as some other nations are doing before our own eyes. Remember, Tunisia which heralded the Arab Spring through a self-immolation incident has in a historic vote given a ringing verdict with...

Published Date: October 31, 2014
Is the WTO heading for a failure?

FOR developing countries that have emphasized an export-led growth strategy, the multilateral trade rules, as represented by the WTO, are critical.  It is, therefore, important to look back at the Bali WTO Conference and to assess why the understandings reached there are not taking concrete shape. When the Bali WTO Ministerial Conference concluded with a bang, it was a sound heard around the globe.  The WTO appeared re-energized.  It is almost eleven months since the conclusion of that Conference.  Perhaps,...

Sweden Decides to Recognise Palestine

Published Date: October 31, 2014
An equal partner

THE Swedish Government decided yesterday (October 30) to recognise the State of Palestine. This is an important step that confirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. Sweden's traditionally close ties with the State of Israel are now complemented by an equivalent relationship with the other party in the two-state solution that Israelis, Palestinians and a united international community see as the path to lasting peace in the Middle East. Our decision comes at a critical time. Over the last...

Editorial

Published Date: October 30, 2014
Nizami brought to justice

WITH the International Crimes Tribunal-1 sentencing Jamaat-e-Islami chief Motiur Rahman Nizami to death, another top leader of the party gets his comeuppance. He adds to the list of five other infamously high-profile convicts marking an advanced stage in the long-awaited trial process as a whole. Nizami has been found guilty in 8 of the 16 charges leveled against him after 22-month-long trial proceedings marked by hurdles. Those included tribunal reconstitution, rehearing of the closing arguments and deferment of verdict by...

Editorial

Published Date: October 30, 2014
City unsafe for women

A recent nationwide survey carried out by ActionAid has unveiled some disturbing facts. Nearly half the respondents are of the opinion that women face harassment in public places and 9 out of 10 women experience one form of sexual harassment or another in crowded places such as public transportation hubs. With most women preferring to avoid making a formal complaint to law enforcement agencies due to cumbersome procedures that are perceived to be stacked against the complainant, the practice...

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Published Date: October 30, 2014
JMB changing base!

JAMA'ATUL Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) is in the news again after almost nine years. Not since March 2005 has the extremist group hogged the headlines in two countries. Their reemergence, though not entirely unexpected, is not happy tidings for us. After they were badly mauled in 2007 and with a truncated organisation and little capacity to pose a substantive threat some might have thought that they had seen the end of the extremist group. However, for anyone who is conversant with...

Exclusive to The Daily Star
WORLD AFFAIRS

Published Date: October 30, 2014
Hope for Hong Kong

Hope for Hong Kong

HONG Kong's democracy movement has gained admiration worldwide. The principles, decency, and behaviour of its youthful vanguard inspire confidence in the qualities of the generation that one day will run the great city. That said, it is time to move on to a sensible endgame. The longer the standoff between Hong Kong's Chief Executive...

Published Date: October 30, 2014
Fly while you have wings

RENOWNED scientist and former Indian President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam quoted the following poem of the great Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi while addressing a gathering of youth in Dhaka recently: “I am born with potential. I am born with goodness and trust. I am born with ideas and dreams. I am born with greatness. I am born with wings. I am not meant for crawling because I have wings. I will learn to use them and fly.” This...

Published Date: October 30, 2014
Islam: The crisis within

THE Islamic world today is faced with extreme violence and conflict that is a danger to global peace and harmony. Countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Yemen are topping the list of states most likely to fail. Absence of governance in many Muslim countries has provided a fertile ground for the rise of religious extremists who in their purported desire to establish an Islamic state have unleashed a reign of terror. In Afghanistan and Pakistan, Taliban...

Published Date: October 30, 2014
Moving from a living wage to a dignity wage

Moving from a living wage to a dignity wage

A great deal of the worldwide advocacy around wages focuses on either increasing the minimum wage or pushing for a living wage.  These foci rest primarily on economic considerations as to how much a worker needs to meet her/his basic expenses.  Labour advocates will argue that the minimum wage is not sufficient to...

Published Date: October 30, 2014
Inspiring innovation to meet development challenges

IT is not so unusual to hear citizens across the world complain about their local government. How little things, such as fixing broken street lights or clearing garbage, can get neglected. So how do you create a more responsive government? One small island, Fonadhoo, in the Maldives, is testing an idea that is connecting the dots to generate dialogue between residents and their municipality. The concept is called Make-My-Island. It draws inspiration from two ideas. The first is the UK-based site Fix-My-Street,...

Editorial

Published Date: October 29, 2014
Reversing trend on child marriage

THE recently concluded Bangladesh Girl Summit jointly organized by the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, BRAC and DFID hoped to provide a platform where children and adolescent activists can play a proactive role in the prevention of  child marriages. The summit, the first of its kind to be organized in the country brought together diverse viewpoints on how best to combat the age-old  practice of parents marrying off their children before they finish secondary schooling. What has been brought...

Editorial

Published Date: October 29, 2014
Highway robbery apparition

A heart-rending incident of   banditry and carnage took place at Madhuklali point under Faridpur district on the Dhaka-Jessore highway at the wee hours of night into Sunday. A felled tree had been placed across the road   forcing three vehicles to stop near the Ariakandi bridge as the dacoits with arms swooped on one of them. They robbed passengers of their money as they hacked their way out critically injuring several passengers. They carried out   the mayhem completely unchallenged. In such...

KNOT SO TRUE

Published Date: October 29, 2014
The 90/10 sky over our head

THE discourse on empow-erment has been going on for too long a time. Some say, we are getting there; some say we are far from even reaching the first bend on the first road; some even say that we'll never make it. Some openly rebel and are courageous enough to defy house rules; some play the good wife; and some just spend their entire lives balancing between what is and what appears to be. For most women in Bangladesh,...

Published Date: October 29, 2014
BCIM-EC: Problems and prospects

BANGLADESH, India, China and Myanmar-Economic Corridor (BCIM-EC) is a sub-regional grouping that seeks to deepen friendly cooperation among the four member nations and linking South Asia with Southeast and East Asia by building multi-modal connectivity, harnessing economic complementaries , and enhancing people-to-people relations. The BCIM region is one of the richest in the world in terms of natural, mineral and other resources. The region covers 9% of the world's total area, 7.3% of the global gross domestic product and...

Published Date: October 29, 2014
PM's UAE visit: Mixed outcome

PM's UAE visit: Mixed outcome

IN one word the outcome of the visit of our PM to the UAE can be stated as mixed. In terms of the overall gain it would be fair to suggest that the host has gained quite a bit more than the guest. Our main concern, opening and expanding of the labour market...

Published Date: October 29, 2014
The ''un-Islamic State''

WHILE exotic and innocuous-sounding names like al-Qaeda (Arabic for “The Base”) and Taliban (Pashtu for “student”) disguises the terror organizations' true intent, the so-called Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) flaunts “Islamic” in their nomenclature. Some fall for it.  Comedian and HBO talk show host Bill Maher argued recently that ISIS is not an outliers but represents the inherent violence and intolerance of Islam itself, and by extension its 1.6 billion followers. Another panelist, Sam Harris, who claimed to have “read” the Qur'an, called...

Published Date: October 29, 2014
Are cyclones formed in the Bay different?

Are cyclones formed in the Bay different?

IN general, tropical cyclone formation areas of the world are divided into seven basins in which North Indian Ocean is one of them. It has two wings, the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. According to global cyclone statistics, only 7% of tropical cyclones occur in the North Indian Ocean, but five...

Published Date: October 29, 2014
How better data can make garment factories safer?

WHEN nearly 1,200 workers died in a tragic factory collapse outside Dhaka last year, dozens of global brands and retailers faced intense public pressure to improve safety in their supplier factories. More than 200 of these global companies have agreed to join one of two collective initiatives to improve factory safety, the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh and the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. Having just marked their one year anniversaries, both initiatives face significant challenges in...

Published Date: October 29, 2014
''EVERGREEN'' STUDENT LEADERS

''EVERGREEN'' STUDENT LEADERS

 

Editorial

Published Date: October 28, 2014
Charges against BNP leaders lack credibility

ARREST of 63 BNP workers including the president of Jubo Dal betrays the unwarranted treatment of the AL of its political opponent. Not only have the BNP workers been charged under the Special Powers Act, six of them have also been taken on remand.   The reason given by the police for the arrest is unacceptable. To say the least, suspicion of 'planning to instigate' is very tenuous, if not ludicrous, and does not stand up to legal scrutiny. And...