• Saturday, November 29, 2014

Op-Ed

Editorial

  • Editorial

    Saarc Summit ends on a positive note

    Spirit of cooperation cuts an important deal

    AFTER a day of uncertainty marked by a stand-off of sorts between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Pakistan counterpart Nawaz Sharif, who did not exchange greetings nor shook hands on the inaugural day, the second day saw them warmly shaking hands to the relief of everybody. And of the three agreements on the table, the most important one on structured cooperation in energy has been clinched. The other two, viz. motor vehicles and regional railway pacts, too have been embraced with a three-month gestation period for approval. Overall, therefore, a region-wide infrastructure connectivity is envisaged. A momentous energy accord has been signed featured by facilitation of an integrated operation of a regional power grid, creation of a regional energy market and provision for cross-border electricity trade. How genuine mutual interests and needs of South Asian nations can override any notion of bilateral tension between India and Pakistan has been proven to the hilt. In a way, Saarc has withstood another test of time.      Also, the deal signifies the triumph of collective will of the Saarc member-countries reflected through a robust commitment to work for the common good of the peoples of South Asian countries. It is...

Opinion

STRAIGHT LINE

The chain of command issue

THE chain of command question in public service, particularly in law enforcement organisation, has once again attracted media attention. Some observers have commented that the virus of politicisation has been eating away at the vitals of police administration. On the subject of police professionalism some observers have taken issue with the politicians' attitudes that have allegedly resulted in the blurring of distinction between the party and the government and also between the government and the State. The above, without doubt,...

EXCLUSIVE TO THE DAILY STAR
WORLD AFFAIRS

Global solutions for globalisation's problems

Global solutions for globalisation's problems

THE last few decades of globalisation and innovation have resulted in the most rapid progress that the world has ever known. Poverty has been reduced. Life expectancy has increased. Wealth has been created at a scale that our ancestors could not have imagined. But the news is not all good. In fact, the...

Why no crosswalk at Saarc Fountain intersection

HATS off to DMP for their timely drive against jaywalkers. Many people have supported this drive, while others have opposed it and said that there should be crosswalks on Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue, especially at the Saarc Fountain intersection. It is time to analyse why there should not be any crosswalks on this road, especially at the said intersection.   Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue is one of the major arterial roadways in Dhaka, which are high capacity roadways serving longer-distance...

18TH SAARC SUMMIT

Charter needs to be amended

Charter needs to be amended

IT is customary during summits for leaders to meet each other bilaterally and exchange greetings and notes. Summits of regional groupings become even more important because their goals are common. Since Summit Declarations etc. are not drafted by leaders (sherpas actually do that) they have ample time to sort out bilateral differences and...

Custom-made democracy

IN a democracy all are equal, but in some democracies some are more equal than others. I say this with profound apologies to George Orwell since this is a spin-off from his most famous statement in his book Animal Farm that “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” In...

18th Saarc Summit: A partial success

ALTHOUGH initially there was some sense of frustration about lack of progress on three possible agreements, finally it looks like the Saarc leaders have been able to pen one agreement on the framework of energy cooperation. So I would brand it as a semi-success. Others -- the motor vehicle agreement and railway cooperation...

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Letters

Letter To The Editor

Billboard business by ruling party goons

Nowadays billboard business has become very lucrative means for the ruling party men to earn money. Earlier we saw that steps were taken by the CCC to demolish the billboards from the main area of Chittagong city. But again the beauty of the city got shadowed by the mushrooming illegal billboards. These precariously built billboards claimed some precious lives recently when those collapsed upon the passers-by. What is most disturbing and disgusting is the reinstallation of these billboards even after...

Letter To The Editor

Challenge of higher population growth globally

According to a UN-led analysis published this year, the world population may grow larger than previously estimated, reaching 11 billion by this century's end. That would mean two billion more people on Earth than expected by 2100, largely due to high birth rates in Africa, said the report in the US journal 'Science'. More people on Earth will likely exacerbate problems such as climate change, infectious diseases and poverty. The world countries should take the matter seriously and be prepared...

Letter To The Editor

Risks eucalyptus, acacia pose to ecology

It is very worrying that people all over the country are planting eucalyptus trees on their home yard, on the highlands and uncultivated land. Specialists and environmentalists warn that eucalyptus and other trees like this are very harmful for our land and environment because these types of trees absorb huge quantity of water and take in more oxygen rather than they produce. In many areas farmers and village people are planting eucalyptus and acacia trees without knowing the bad...

Letter To The Editor

Expose goings-on in Biman

The national airline has shamed us all as we came to know from media reports that high ranking officials of Biman were involved in gold smuggling. This ill-fame will not go away soon. Their image and reputation, and the stigma that it has caused have taken Biman into a nosedive; one wonders if it can ever recover from it. I am sure all readers and taxpayers will agree that there has to be an immediate and thorough inquiry into...

Comments on news report

“Some names still not on charge sheet,” published on Nov. 25, 2014 PlainSpeaker SAMS Kibria was a top AL leader. What is the government doing to find out and punish those who murdered Kibria? **** “'It was essential and necessary to hold the general elections'” (Nov. 25, 2014) OpeeMonir It is unfortunate that she was not thinking about our greater interest. It is also surprising that rather than being a diplomat, she was expressing her views like a political leader. **** “Govt alone can't fight corruption” (Nov....

Letter To The Editor

Published Date: November 28, 2014
Making a mockery of V-sign

Making a mockery of V-sign

Nowadays the widespread use of the victory sign has become a matter of mockery. Everyone likes to show it no matter what. Maybe the politicians would secure the first place in case a competition of showing this sign would take place. The politicians of our country never hesitate to show the sign 'V'...

Letter To The Editor

Published Date: November 28, 2014
Can't Ekushey and Hay Festival go together?

We, the literature loving people, keep waiting for occasions like Hay Festival. With much enthusiasm, this year's Hay Festival was held at the Bangla Academy premises from November 20 to 22. I want to give an idea to the festival organisers: it would be better if this festival is merged with the Ekushey Book Fair. Ekushey Book Fair will not overshadow Hay Festival as both these popular occasions have their uniqueness. Thanks to TDS for being the event partner...

Letter To The Editor

Published Date: November 28, 2014
Prospect of a second Dhaka-Sylhet road link

At present the only road that connects Dhaka with Sylhet is N2 via Bhairab Bridge. The printed maps as well as Google Earth show that there is another road, R-370, which connects Mymensingh and Sunamganj. But in reality about 20 km road between Dharampasha and Jamalganj upazila of Sunamganj is yet to be complete. I decided to explore the area myself.  As we reached there it was raining and the village roads inside the haor area became unsuitable for our...

Published Date: November 28, 2014
Comments on news report

“BCL activists assault 2 teachers,” published on November 25, 2014 Ahmed Aziz Not surprising at all; surely no measures will be taken by the ruling party against the perpetrators as they depend on them to maintain "democracy" on the street. Redgreen Where are the police and RAB? Had it been Shibir or Chhatra Dal, then by now dozens of arrest would have been done already. **** “PM for prompt, proper action” (Nov. 25, 2014) SM Easy solution; go and get all BNP people whether they have done...

Letter To The Editor

Published Date: November 27, 2014
Throw the book at Latif

Throw the book at Latif

Being a Muslim and bearing a Muslim name, Latif Siddiqui was not expected to pass such derogatory remarks which hurt the feelings of all Muslims, not only of Bangladesh but of the entire world. Action has been taken as per the law of the land which should be implemented without any doubt or...

Letter To The Editor

Published Date: November 27, 2014
It's a mockery of exam!

I was a student of an English medium school last year but I shifted to a Bangla medium school this year in class VII. While appearing in the JSC exam of this year, I found a state of serious disorder in the exam hall. All the students were talking and discussing possible answers of MCQ; some students kept open their answer scripts so that others could copy from those. And to my surprise, all this happened in front of...

Letter To The Editor

Published Date: November 27, 2014
Best wishes to Mashrafe

One of the most admirable names in Bangladesh cricket team is Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, also known as the Narail Express. His career was hampered by injuries several times and he has undergone a total of ten surgeries on his knees and ankles. He even missed the World Cup in 2011 due to injuries. Every time he was injured, people thought it might be the end of his career; that he might not come back again in the team. But...

Published Date: November 27, 2014
Comments on news report

“Govt was aware,” published on November 25, 2014 Redgreen Without any blessings from the top, Latif Siddiqui would never dare to enter Bangladesh. There were many episodes connected with his arrival. It is beyond doubt that the law enforcing agencies are puppets in the hands of the ruling party. Nds Strange; if he is not allowed entry into the country, how can you take legal action against him? Besides, his citizenship has not been cancelled by the government, so how can he be...

Letter To The Editor

Published Date: November 26, 2014
Pedestrians' right of way

Dhaka metropolitan police recently said that mobile courts would jail or fine 'jaywalkers'. My question is, who are the jaywalkers? Aren't they pedestrians? In all civilised countries of the world, I have seen vehicles always stop to let the walkers pass. They have zebra crossings at road intersections with "walk/no walk" signs. What have we done to let the pedestrians walk across roads safely? Almost nothing. There are very valid reasons for the pedestrians not using the overhead or underground...

Letter To The Editor

Published Date: November 26, 2014
Israel should accept responsibility

This refers to the above news item published in TDS on November 21, 2014. The news states that Israel said it would cooperate with a UN investigation into Israeli attacks on UN facilities during last summer's Gaza war after denying to cooperate with a separate UN Human Rights Council investigation. During the war, at least six UN-run facilities were hit by Israeli fire, killing twenty-four people. More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed during the war. It...

Letter To The Editor

Published Date: November 26, 2014
DMP's laudable move to stop jaywalking

DMP's laudable move to stop jaywalking

I highly appreciate the DMP for their initiative to set up mobile courts to stop jaywalking from 25th November. I hope our public will respond very well and cooperate fully with the law enforcing agency to stop the jaywalking. Jamshaid Taher Banani, Dhaka

More

Unbearable Hike

Unbearable Hike

  Related stories: Hiking gas price: For whose interest? Gas, electricity rates to go up in 2015  

Editorial

Published Date: November 28, 2014
Modi's assurances on LBA, Teesta water deal

THE talks between Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the 18th Saarc summit in Kathmandu, have ended on a positive note. Indian premier has  reassured  Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina that  two longstanding bilateral issues between next-door neighbours, Teesta water sharing deal and Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), would be resolved sooner rather than later. The good news is, unlike in the past, the LBA bill this time has not met...

Editorial

Published Date: November 28, 2014
Probe committee offers nothing

THE nationwide electricity shutdown on November 1 and the failure to find the reasons thereof by the committee are not only unexpected but downright disheartening. We have all been informed how due to a combined effect of fall in voltage and system frequency caused a chain reaction that shutdown plants originating from Bheramara. Yet the probe committee that published its final report has failed to trace the cause of this low voltage. Indeed the report has skirted the issue...

CROSS TALK

Published Date: November 28, 2014
Rumours are like ripples in a cornfield

THERE are more rumours reverberating through this land of ours than there are stars in the sky. Every crime is complicated, every corruption is convoluted and every crisis is circuitous. And rumours are leading to speculations as abidingly as faith leads to worship. A Jewish proverb says that we shouldn't witness with our mouths what we don't see with our eyes. But when it comes to an absorbing speculation that gives this government anywhere between three and six months,...

BETWEEN THE LINES

Published Date: November 28, 2014
Indo-US partnership for arms

Indo-US partnership for arms

BY any yardstick, the participation of US President Barrack Obama at the Republic Day parade in January is a recognition of India's growing structure. His phone call to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was, no doubt, an effort to make amends of sorts. But it does not hide the fact that Washington has...

Published Date: November 28, 2014
Fading memories of Mujibnagar Government

IT is sad but true that, nowadays, we hardly hear of or talk about the Provisional Government of Bangladesh, formed on April 10, 1971 and popularly known as the Mujibnagar Government. On the contrary, what we get to hear is when some high government official is caught with a fake freedom fighter's certificate. Why is this apathy towards this government which conducted the War of Independence against Pakistan and led it to victory on December 16, 1971? Shouldn't history be...

PLEASURE IS ALL MINE

Published Date: November 28, 2014
Mamata, Hasina, Modi and ...

HOW politics in a country impacts on its relationship with a neighbouring country has been spectacularly brought home lately in the context of India and Bangladesh. Usually, we have heard of ripple effect lapping up the shores of another country if its neighbour goes haywire through a takeover of power by an unconstitutional force. Or when militancy gains over normal political order. Security concerns are likely to arise in the neighbourhood. But that in peacetime, changing political dynamics in a...

BOTTOM LINE

Published Date: November 28, 2014
India-Pakistan tension threatens the success of Saarc Summit

THE theme of the 18th Kathmandu Summit was “Deeper Integration for Peace and Prosperity.” It is expected that the leaders will attach importance to how to implement the theme for peace and progress of almost 1.3 billion people of the Saarc. It was earlier reported that that three agreements -- Saarc motor vehicles agreement, Saarc regional railway agreement and Saarc energy cooperation agreement -- would be considered and signed to facilitate physical connectivity among the Saarc countries. None of them...

Published Date: November 28, 2014
In our country, is the business of business just business?

GROWING up in an entrepreneurial family, I have always wondered about the line between “business as usual,” and business that is socially responsible. With limited repercussions in Bangladesh, it seems that the overwhelming positivity of businesses have, to an extent, been negated by poor environment and labour practices, and a blatant disregard for the good of society. It begs the question, is the business of business just business? On an even more molecular level, what is business? These days, people...

Published Date: November 28, 2014
JAY HO

WHY did the chicken cross the road? To prove that it's no chicken but rather, a full blooded Bangladeshi. After all, Bangladesh is perhaps among the very few countries in the world where one has to get special combat training to cross the streets. With a mixed bag of buses, trucks, cars, baby taxis (CNGs), rickshaws, pull carts, push carts, cows (leaving Hansel and Gretel trails), why should pedestrians be left out? And so, we have the jaywalkers' paradise. The jaywalker...

Editorial

Published Date: November 27, 2014
Question paper leak again

PRIMARY terminal examinations, the first gateway for several lakhs of youngsters to make it to the secondary level have made a blemished start, to put it mildly. Successive question paper leakages have actually placed the credibility and quality of exams under a question mark. We observe to our great surprise the same denial mode as had been experienced with other well-founded allegations of question papers having been out on Facebook or websites ahead of exams. While guardians complain of similarities...

Editorial

Published Date: November 27, 2014
Latif's surrender

LATIF Siddique's dramatic surrender to the law on Tuesday has ended all the furore created at home over some impolitic and reckless remarks that he made while abroad. It is noteworthy that despite his earlier acts of bravado, the former minister and presidium member of the ruling AL has finally seen reason to submit himself before law. Now it is up to the government to see that the law runs its own course and the matter brought to a...

Published Date: November 27, 2014
MPs enjoy no or unlimited immunity from arrest?

MPs enjoy no or unlimited immunity from arrest?

BY surrendering to the Dhanmondi police station on Tuesday, sacked minister Abdul Latif Siddique has saved the police, the state minister for home, and the government as well, from being embarrassed further. What the police and the government policymakers have done since his return to Dhaka on Sunday night has raised questions about their sincerity to enforce the law. Siddique, who flew into Dhaka from India, has been facing around two dozen arrest warrants issued by different courts in connection with cases filed in 18 districts against him for his derogatory remarks hurting religious sentiments of people. Non-action of the police on Sunday night at the airport drew criticism....

Published Date: November 27, 2014
Our persistent water crisis

IN recent decades, Bangladesh has made remarkable progress in supplying safe water to its citizens, yet serious disparities in coverage persist across both rural and urban areas. Although the government has numerous water initiatives underway, it has never properly addressed the social vulnerabilities of women and children in rural villages that can be linked to water stress. According to Unicef, 97% of Bangladeshis have access to tube well water. This has dramatically reduced the incidence of water-borne diseases such as...

Published Date: November 27, 2014
Remembering Baba

EACH year goes by and as the end of November rolls around, I think of Baba and his life. There is so much I want to say and so many questions I have that will forever remain unanswered. I spent this past summer working in Bangladesh and talking to any acquaintance, relative, or friend to glean new aspects of his life. After hearing everyone's stories of my Baba, I am truly humbled. Everyone from the custodian at Dhaka Medical...

Published Date: November 27, 2014
The tale of two women

The tale of two women

TWENTY-three year old Jannati Hossain is not a household name. She was a young woman with a passion for cars. Jannati was the unfortunate driver of a vehicle that met with a tragic accident killing her co passenger, who was also her business partner. The co-passenger was not wearing the seat belt that...

SINCE TAZREEN

Published Date: November 27, 2014
Has fire safety improved?

IT was two years ago this week that fire swept through the Tazreen Fashions factory on the outskirts of Dhaka claiming the lives of over 110 garment workers. At the time it was Bangladesh's worst ever industrial accident. It laid bare the lack of fire safety in the ready-made garment (RMG) sector and put in motion considerable efforts by local and international stakeholders to ensure such an event could not happen again. Two years on, has fire safety in the Bangladesh...

Published Date: November 27, 2014
'Student Politics' in Bangladesh

I once dreamed about and took pride in being a student of the University of Dhaka, an institution that unconditionally contributed to the Language Movement, Liberation War, and Democracy Movement of the country. However, reading the claims of a certain party of owning the campus, I can't help worrying about my younger sister as she prepares to start her dream journey in the university once known as “Oxford of the East.” Having a drastically different experience in my own universities,...

Editorial

Published Date: November 26, 2014
Financial irregularities hit spotlight

FINANCIAL irregularities to the tune of nearly Tk6,200 crore has been detected by the Office of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG). In its first ever media presentation, the data was compiled from 17 different audit reports and made public. It is sad to see that Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has topped the list of defaulters. Not only has there been gross negligence involved in realising fines and fees, serious anomalies have been detected in the manner in...

Editorial

Published Date: November 26, 2014
Turning digital dream into reality

WITH its large youth population, Bangladesh is poised to become an emerging IT-based economy, so said the country's state minister for Information and Communication Technology recently. The optimism does not also seem quite out of place, given that by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ranking, compared to last year, we have moved a notch higher and been placed at 145th position among 166 countries on the global ICT index. What is more, at present, around 69 per cent of...

KNOT SO TRUE

Published Date: November 26, 2014
Dragon sees, dragon does

THERE was no Google and there was no gmail. It was -3 degrees in Beijing and your columnist hopelessly looked for access to the virtual space. A young man in his early 20's from Bangladesh studying Fine Arts in Beijing had answers to my problem: Baidu in place of Google and 123.com in place of Gmail. That was it! Though the English results from the Chinese Baidu were far from being close to Google's efficiency, it was still an...

Published Date: November 26, 2014
Kathmandu Summit for regional integration

TODAY in Nepal, the 18th SAARC Summit kicks-off bringing together the leaders from Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. As regional leaders assemble for the summit, South Asia pulsates with optimism and hope, and looks forward towards an era of accelerated growth and well-being for the peoples inhabiting the sub-continent. In the three decades of its existence, SAARC has progressively emerged as an indissoluble ingredient in South Asia's identity and in its imagination. There...

Published Date: November 26, 2014
Vacancy announcement: Enlightened citizen required

BANGLADESH is a country with great prospect; one of the fastest growing economies of the world which has transformed itself successfully over the last few decades from Kissinger's “Basket Case” to Ban Ki-moon's “...model for the world”.  This is a country which has prospered in spite of periodic natural calamities, political chaos, international crisis and many multifaceted challenges. As the country plans to take the next big leap towards becoming a more developed nation, both economically and politically, there...

Published Date: November 26, 2014
Killings in the desert and the mirage of caliphate

THE name is now all too familiar, so are the violence and brutality associated with it. A caliphate, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, has been proclaimed.  A caliph, with a suitable name borrowed from the first caliph of Islam, has proclaimed himself as head of the Islamic State.  The evocative name of Baghdad of the glorious days of Islam has been duly affixed to the title. The caliphate has not been coy about its own...

Published Date: November 26, 2014
Pneumonia: Deadly childhood disease

Nearly 1.7 million children under the age of five yeas died last year in WHO's South-East Asia Region, with pneumonia and diarrhea being among the major killers. The Region accounts for 27% of global deaths in this age group. These statistics are alarming and unfortunate as these deaths continue to occur despite availability of well-known evidence based interventions for prevention and treatment of diseases like pneumonia.  This is a warning that the Region is far from achieving the Millennium...

Published Date: November 26, 2014
Gold galore comments galore

RABINDRANATH Tagore loved this land and wrote, “Amaar shonar Bangla, ami tomai bhalobashi…” (O my golden Bengal, I love thee so…). He used the Bangla word for 'golden' as a metaphor, to allude to the abundance of beauty of the pristine land. But, after so many decades of his death, our Biman people are trying to establish the fact that Tagore used the word in its pure literal sense. Hence they are hell-bent on flooding Bengal with real gold…gold...