• Saturday, August 30, 2014

Op-Ed

Editorial

  • Editorial

    Violent murders in the city

    Don't term these as stray incidents

    WE have been shocked by the two very recent incidents of murder on subsequent days in the capital. One of the victims was a high profile TV personality and well respected religious scholar and Imam of the High Court Mosque. What is frightening is that these killings have occurred in the early part of the evening by forcing into the victims' homes and perpetrating the crimes virtually in the presence of the other inmates. We must put on record our strong reservation about the failure of the police to find out the killers of most of these murders, and in fact very few, if at all, of the high profile killings, abductions and disappearances in recent times, like that of Sagar-Runi and labour leader Aminul Islam  have been solved.    We take issue with the state minister for home that the latest shooting to death of three of a family is a stray incident. The minister should acknowledge the reality that these are clear indications of deteriorating law and order when even ones own house is no longer a safe place for a citizen. It will be well to remember that stray incidents accrete till they assume overwhelming...

Opinion

STRAIGHT LINE

The August tragedies

IN August 1975, the architect of Bangladesh's freedom and most of his family members were violently and shamefully murdered by some disgruntled army officers. The tragic ramifications of that dastardly incident are still being felt by a shocked polity. The trial and conviction of some of the perpetrators of that gory incident have brought some solace and the nation waits for the punishment of the remainder. However, dismal thoughts would surely occupy the minds of sane Bangladeshis when they venture...

International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances

Darkness in democracy

THIS day, 30 August, marks the International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearances. The day is observed not only to remember and seek justice for those who were subjected to enforced disappearance but also to reflect on the conditions that breed such heinous practice. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to raise the issue why those in charge of the State continue to deny the existence of such practice of law enforcement agencies that are under their command and...

Faruqi's death signals...

IF murder allegations made by the family members of the slain Sheikh Nurul Islam Faruqi prove to be true then there is a cause for worry. The allegation clearly points finger at those who oppose Faruqi's religious views. And never a crime so gruesome was committed in recent times for possessing different religious views. Faruqi , an Islamic scholar was renowned for playing the host of an Islamic TV show. Many may have differed with some of his opinions and...

BITTER TRUTH

Safe roads or highway to death

MOST roads in Bangladesh have evolved rather than designed and purpose-built; consequently hazards are mounting. It has been revealed through a study of the ARI (Accident Research Institute) at Buet that out of the colossal number of accidents taking place on the national highways in the country, 35 per cent of these takes place in four per cent area of the national highway. It was learnt that 209 most accident-prone spots were identified on our national highways by the...

BOTTOM LINE
REMOVE THE MISGIVINGS FIRST

Bangladesh-Myanmar FS level meeting

ONE of the mechanisms of injecting momentum and dynamism into relations between the two neighbours has been the holding of meetings at the level of foreign secretary. The scheduled 8th such meeting in Dhaka on 31st August, between Bangladesh and Myanmar, is to be most welcomed. The main purpose of the meeting, I would argue, is to remove whatever misgivings Myanmar has about Bangladesh and adopt confidence building measures with Myanmar to put bilateral relations on a positive track. Cooperation...

A SAARC Development Bank to Bridge the Infrastructure Deficit in South Asia?

IN the third week of July, the Narendra Modi government mooted the idea of a SAARC Development Bank (SDB) along the lines of the BRICS Bank announced by the BRICS Summit around the same time.  It was reported that India will propose the SDB at the SAFTA Ministerial Council in Bhutan and later at the forthcoming SAARC Summit in Kathmandu, Nepal. This is not something new. As far back as 1998, the report of the SAARC Group of Eminent Persons...

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Letters

Letters To The Editor

Control power use

A few days ago, PM's energy adviser stressed the need to conserve power and ensure efficient use of electricity and gas. In my opinion, he should have started working on this critical issue soon after he was made the energy adviser. About gas, I feel there are two issues that can be considered. The most important thing is to have gas meters for all consumers: domestic, commercial and industrial. For industries, we should have power factor capacitors installed at the earliest...

Letters To The Editor

Imran Khan's threats to Pak govt.

This refers to the report, “Led by Imran, 34 Pak MPs resign” (Aug.23). The Army in Pakistan seems to be playing backdoor games and is supporting the two protesting groups. However, these protests are empty threats, as there is no mass support. Two different protesting groups can never agree and they have not spelt out their agenda for Pakistan's problems. Just asking for resignation of the current Prime Minister Mr. Nawaz Shariff has failed to draw mass support. Had...

Letters To The Editor

Security system in DMCH

Security system in DMCH

We are relieved to know that the newborn baby, stolen from DMCH a few days ago, has been rescued by Rab on August 28. DMCH authorities should improve its security system so that no more babies get stolen from the hospital. It is very true that the director of the DMCH is a...

Comments on news report

“UNO, AC Land seek transfer in face of UP chairman's threat” (August 25, 2014) Molla A. Latif The UNO and the A/C land should not be transferred. They must either take legal action against the chairman and his cronies or leave their job. Applying for transfer and flashing it in the press do not prove their eligibility, rather demonstrates their incapacity and cowardice. ***** “Govt to export 50,000 MT rice to Sri Lanka” (August 26, 2014) Nazmul Hassan Very good news. Bangladesh can also export...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 29, 2014
RU authority's generosity

The news, “Feb 2 RU violence victim gets Tk 1.2 lakh,” published in your esteemed daily on August 22, has caught my attention. I hail the Rajshahi University authorities for their sincere concern and contribution, for the seriously injured student who was reportedly wounded in an attack by the BCL activists. And unfortunately, the police supported the BCL. While I condemn this heinous attack by the hooligans in the garb of students, I want to question, when will such hooliganism...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 29, 2014
PM can use social website

Social networking websites have become very popular nowadays. Facebook is the most popular social website in our country while twitter is another important one. One can know the pulse of mass people very easily browsing through Facebook. USA, UK and many other western countries' presidents and prime ministers use these websites to communicate with their people. Though our prime minister has declared that she will realise the dream of “Digital Bangladesh” by 2021, yet she doesn't have an official...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 29, 2014
Vegetable train

The vegetable growers do not get good price for their produces at the local markets. On the other hand, the urban people buy vegetables at high prices. But the money does not go to the farmers. At present, there is hardly any vegetable at the market that sells below tk. 40/ per kg. The government can start a 'vegetable train' which will run through villages to big cities. The farmers will load vegetables from their area and when the...

Published Date: August 29, 2014
Comments on news report

“Black money flying abroad,” published on August 26, 2014 Denim Money is going out of the country without the permission of Bangladesh Bank, which is illegal. There is no shortage of investment funds in the bank and the dollar reserve is also good. Some companies are using loan funds from foreign banks. On the other hand, the deposits in local banks are remaining idle. The interest rates in banks are falling because of this reason. Imracil How is MM2H - program a money...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 28, 2014
Horrible condition of roads

Horrible condition of roads

Before Eid, the media was flooded with stories of the praiseworthy steps the government took to improve the poor road conditions of the country including Dhaka. But eventually, we found nothing satisfactory. Soon after the Eid, the authorities seemed to have stopped thinking about this serious issue, even when roads are going from...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 28, 2014
World powers' double standard

A few powerful countries of the world can pulverize huge buildings of other countries into dust just within minutes! No, not empty buildings, buildings full of little children, women and men. They can even destroy a whole country. It matters little to them, as the sophisticated bombs, to produce which they have spent billions of dollars, can annihilate anything. Buildings, gardens, crops, orchards, trees, flowers, fruits, animals, birds, roads, bridges and most of all, human beings. But if one...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 28, 2014
Implement new law on industrial research

Nearly six months back, the government passed a new law under the title “Bangladesh Biggan O Shilpo Gobeshona Porishod Ain 2013” by making the Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Ordinance 1978 (Ord. No.V of 1978) defunct. In the new law, a number of provisions for the betterment of research and researchers have been incorporated which include raising of retirement age of outstanding scientists to 67 years. But till now the law has not been implemented due to...

Published Date: August 28, 2014
Comments on news report

“'Coach & players need to answer',” published on August 25, 2014 Saidur Rahaman Srabon BCB should be freed from politics first. Muhammad Ariful Islam Bangladesh team can not perform well under Hathurasingha. We should find some enthusiastic and young dynamic professionals for board who can maintain the whole year cricket calendar. ***** “Safety flaws pose risk” (August 23, 2014) Humayun Hyder The United Airways Bangladesh Limited is running its flights despite flaws which have been pinpointed by the CAAB. Despite numerous flaws, the airline is continuing its...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 27, 2014
Acceptable level of chromium in food

I thank Professor Abul Hossain for replying to my letter on chromium scare. I have nothing much to say about the acceptable limit of chromium except the fact that different values for the same parameter are not uncommon in the field of Environmental Science. For instance, in an EPA-sponsored Toxicological Review of Trivalent Chromium, the National Research Council has identified an Estimated Safe and Adequate Daily Dietary Intake (ESADDI) for trivalent chromium at 50-200 microgram per day, while the...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 27, 2014
“I'm a Palestinian, don't kill me”

The current slogan in Ferguson, US, is “I am black, don't shoot me”. I have sympathy for the innocent boy Michael Brown and the black community. Now think about what is happening in Palestine? Does Barack Obama realise the situation? Please Obama, wake up. If you are a human being, if you have a heart and if you have children -- cry for the hapless 2,000 in Palestine who were killed like birds by your Israeli brethren! A F Rahman On...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 27, 2014
Bauls are bleeding

While going through the news item, “Souls of bauls bleeding,” published in your esteemed daily on August 24, 2014, I was shocked and tears welled up in my eyes. Bauls are humanists. They render songs praising their gurus and the Creator and never get themselves involved in mundane family life. Mere rejoinders or protest rallies will not take away the cruelty done on the bauls. The perpetrators deserve immediate punishment. Jahangir Hassan A political activist

Published Date: August 27, 2014
Comments on news report

“Bangladesh keen to join BRICS Bank,” published on August 20, 2014 Kumar “However, NDB is yet to decide on whether it would give membership to any country other than its founder members.” It is not that NDB is yet to decide but has already decided that its membership is open to all UN members who may be interested to join the bank and hold the 45% share based on contribution that they may make, but yes, not as founding members who...

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Editorial

Published Date: August 29, 2014
Easing pressure on Dhaka

THE latest Poverty map published jointly by the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, World Bank and World Food Programme reveals disquieting trends. Nearly a third of the estimated 50million people live in the capital city. That the poor are flocking to Dhaka and other major urban centers are indicative of the fact that all major economic activities are concentrated around these areas, while the rest of the country lags behind. The results merely go to explain why urbanization overall is...

Editorial

Published Date: August 29, 2014
BCL at it, again!

ACTIVISTS of Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL)  forced Chittagong railway station to stop all its official functions on Wednesday evening. As the report goes, the BCL men wanted the railway station authority to fulfill their demand to supply tickets for six coaches of a Dhaka-bound express train for Friday.  Since the station master could not fully comply with their request, he and his staff drew BCL activists' wrath. It is learnt that earlier two other branches of Chittagong BCL had in...

CROSS TALK

Published Date: August 29, 2014
Ambition is destroying greatness

WHAT'S one thing that was once a sin to have but now a sin to lack? The answer is stated in the famous admonition of Cardinal Wolsey in Shakespeare's Henry VIII: “Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition/By that sin fell the angels.” By that sin fell Napoleon  when his ambition led him to invade Russia. Solomon's excesses split the Isreali kingdom. Alexander the Great died after trying to cross the Gedrosian Desert. People, who push their luck, often...

Power to impeach SC judges

Published Date: August 29, 2014
Will that alone make JS powerful?

IN defence of its move to restore parliament's authority to impeach Supreme Court judges on grounds of misconduct or incapacity, the government has been trying to draw attention to people's empowerment issue by returning to the Constitution of 1972. People will be empowered, according to the government, if the parliament gets back the powers. This means the more the parliament will be strengthened the more the people will be empowered. This sounds good. It should happen in a parliamentary...

Published Date: August 29, 2014
Trans-border trade

IT pays the North-east states to promote trans-border trade with neighbours. Political expediency should not be allowed to take precedence over the growing need for trade in the economic life of villagers living in the border areas. Last year Manipur chief minister Ibobi Singh participated in some promotional activities to boost trade. He led a 45-member team to Moyna, 140 km from the Indian border town of Moreh, to attend the North-east-India-Myanmarese Business Conclave. It is to his credit...

PLEASURE IS ALL MINE

Published Date: August 29, 2014
Economic Nirvana

Economic <i>Nirvana</i>

WHEN the Board of Investment (BoI) invited me to a dialogue on the State of the Economy, it used a trump card of a huge sell-point we have acquired by virtue of a sizeable success through the recent maritime boundary delimitation along the Bay. It was an irresistible invitation for many in spite...

Published Date: August 29, 2014
The European Union and the Twin Civil Wars in Syria/Iraq

IS this one of those rare occasions where policymakers self-critically correct a gigantic blunder? Or is it a cold turn-about guided by pure self-interest? On August the 15th, the Foreign Ministers of EU-countries gathered in Brussels and decided that each would henceforth be free to supply arms to Kurdish rebels fighting Sunni extremists of ISIS in the North of Iraq. Even Germany which in the past had been unwilling to furnish military supplies to warring parties  in 'conflict zones',...

HUMOROUSLY YOURS

Published Date: August 29, 2014
Sandal Scandal

MIND your shoes”. Interesting that it is only at mosques that you see this sign. So, the clever me places one sandal at one far end of the mosque and the other one at the other end. But even then, one day I walk back home with one bare foot – a male Cinderella in a panjabi. I guess the FIFA method for protection won't work – wearing one red and one yellow sandal to the mosque. And now, it's...

Editorial

Published Date: August 28, 2014
Stop trivialising DAP

NOTHING is more distressful when the authorities seemingly choose to ignore the Detailed Area Plan (DAP) for Dhaka. Judging by what has been printed in newspapers, we believe that some 47 projects have been approved this week that allow for residential plots to be built up on restricted zones like flood flow areas, water bodies and agricultural lands. Indeed, if that be the case we wonder if violation of DAP is being resorted to in the name of development...

Editorial

Published Date: August 28, 2014
Glimmer of peace in Gaza

WE, along with the rest of the peace-loving people of the world, welcome the long-term ceasefire agreement finally reached between Israel and Hamas, the two hostile sides in the 50-day Gaza war. We believe both the Israeli leadership and Hamas representing the Palestinians in Gaza have come to realise the senselessness of the protracted hostilities. These claimed around 2200 lives, most of them civilians including children on the Palestinian side and some 69 people, five of them civilians on...

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Published Date: August 28, 2014
Shameful political rhetoric: When will it end?

TO say that one is aghast at the language used by politicians is an understatement particularly when they come from an aspirant to high position in the country's politics. Such remarks are suggestive of a person possessing a puerile substance between the ears. Tirades against one whose role in our politics and the birth of the country is beyond question, and that which has earned him the honorific of Bangabandhu and Father of the Nation, is not only unwarranted...

THE WORLD IN WORDS

Published Date: August 28, 2014
The Middle East Crack-Up

The Middle East Crack-Up

THE horror stories emerging from northern Iraq, as well as the continuing slaughter in Syria's civil war, point to a tectonic shift in the Middle East. Almost 100 years after World War I, the regional state system established after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire is unraveling. The contemporary map of the Middle East...

Published Date: August 28, 2014
Arrival of sovereign bonds

THE news of Bangladesh's imminent international sovereign bond issuance has caught the attention of plenty. The world's leading investment bank- Goldman Sachs- is expected to advise the government on its maiden sovereign bond issuance and believes that Bangladesh can raise $2-$3 billion from the international market through such bonds. Firstly, what are sovereign bonds and how can they help? Sovereign bonds are debt securities issued by national governments. These bonds can be denominated in either a local or global currency...

Published Date: August 28, 2014
Which law is priority: SC judges' appointment law or impeachment by JS

THE cabinet on August 18 approved a proposal on amending the constitution to restore parliament's authority to impeach Supreme Court (SC) judges on grounds of misconduct or incapacity, by scrapping the existing provision for the chief justice-led Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) for the task. The bill will be passed any day in the next session.  The move has already triggered huge controversy as to whether the restoration of the parliament's authority will appear as a threat to the independence of...

Launch Accident Investigation

Published Date: August 28, 2014
Move from blame-game to safety standard improvement

AFTER every launch accident, which often takes a heavy toll of human life, the government immediately exhibits promptness, forming multiple high-level probe committees, promising punishment for the responsible persons behind the accident. Without hampering the monotonous trend followed after each of the previous similar incidents, the government formed two probe committees soon after the Pinak-6 accident: a seven-member probe body by the ministry of shipping , and another four-member committee by the Department of Shipping (DoS). The whole investigation...

Published Date: August 28, 2014
Bangladesh cricket team needs sports psychologists

BANGLADESH cricket team is consistently underperforming these days not because they have suddenly forgotten how to play cricket at the highest level, but because the whole team has lost confidence in their abilities. The remedy lies beyond the expertise of their cricket coaches.  The team urgently needs the assistance of sports psychologists to fortify their beliefs in themselves. Sports psychologists help professional and amateur athletes overcome mental impediments to their sports success.  Many top athletes have credited sports psychologists for...

Editorial

Published Date: August 27, 2014
Indicting opposition men en masse

A Dhaka court on Monday charged 147 leaders and activists of BNP-led alliance for offences like assault on police, blasting of cocktails and creating panic during a  rally held by the alliance in March last year. It is indeed a rare instance of so many political leaders and workers being indicted in a single case in the country.  And it simply boggles the mind to think that the accused, many of whom are senior and respectable citizens, committed offences...

Editorial

Published Date: August 27, 2014
Tendering process flouted

ALLEGATIONS of anomalies in the purchase tender of three old ships have been raised against the Chittagong port authorities. By what has been revealed through investigative journalism, we are taken aback at the various instances of flouting set rules, from choosing a hitherto unknown company winning the bid to failure to clear customs duty before taking delivery of the said vessels. It is very interesting how authorities could allow a company to participate in the bidding that is said...

GROUND REALITIES

Published Date: August 27, 2014
Tales of wicked, ignorant men

THERE is quite something to be said about those Bengalis who somehow cannot rest easy with the place of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in history. We now have the callow Tareque Rahman spewing venom against the Father of the Nation. He does it from faraway London. Bangabandhu, he tells us, killed Speaker Shahed Ali. And Sheikh Hasina, he tells us again, planned the whole 21 August 2004 carnage. How much more ignorant can a nearly fifty year-old man get?...

Published Date: August 27, 2014
Impeachment of Judges: A suggestion

THE Cabinet has approved the draft proposal to amend the Constitution and vest the power of impeachment of judges of the Supreme Court in the Parliament. The fundamental issue now is how the law should be framed so that it achieves its professed goal i.e. ensures accountability of the Supreme Court judges. This article will deal with one aspect that the proposed law on this issue may contain to reduce the scope for misuse.    Vesting the power in the...

Published Date: August 27, 2014
Social Business for Community Tourism

THE globally acclaimed concept 'social business' of Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, can be linked with the community tourism development of Bangladesh. The social business concept helps in tourism product diversification, employment generation, tourism promotion among the local community. One of the key issues for sustainable tourism development is community benefit. Local community through social business can easily be involved in different activities of community tourism development like handicrafts production and promotion, local food production in hygienic manner, cultivation of...

Published Date: August 27, 2014
LETTER TO BANGLADESH FROM A 'NON-EXISTENT' BANGLADESHI

LETTER TO BANGLADESH FROM A 'NON-EXISTENT' BANGLADESHI

Dear Bangladesh, I don't know if you remember me, but I am writing to you in the hope that you do.  Having witnessed and celebrated your birth when I was little, and having grown up with you, I have always cared deeply about you, as I will always do.  But I am not sure...

Published Date: August 27, 2014
Recognition of indigenous people

THE tribal and the minor race-people of the hill-tracts and the plain land of Bangladesh have, for a couple of years, been raising voice for Constitutional recognition as 'indigenous'(adivasi). The voice intensified after the 15th Amendment to the Constitution of 2011. Their expectation was the recognition as indigenous in this very Amendment. The Amendment, however, recognized them in Article 23A not as indigenous but as tribes, minor races, ethnic sects and communities. This provision as inserted in this regard...

Editorial

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Dire condition of city roads

If one looks at the cluster of photos on yesterday's issue of The Daily Star, one is sure to be appalled at the horrific state of the city roads. What the city dwellers are bearing up with is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in the DCCs and its allied roads departments. Needless to say, these do not behove of the capital city; in fact, it's an outright shame for those in charge of the roads. There you...

Editorial

Published Date: August 26, 2014
BD–India border issues

THE latest round of bi-annual talks between the countries has just concluded in New Delhi. The press comments made by the two director generals talk of substantive issues like border killings, illegal border crossing and smuggling, and about the speeding up of trial of Felani, picture of whose gruesome killing by BSF still haunts us. As for the retrial we would hope that the committment would be followed up on ground so that justice is not denied. However, the two...

Published Date: August 26, 2014
Gridlock takes its toll

THIS is hardly a new topic and certainly not one that has not been covered before. Detailed studies now exist on precisely what damage is being caused to economic activities due to the horrendous traffic jams the city of Dhaka experiences on a daily basis. Whenever there is interaction with traffic management authorities they cite the usual causes -- too many vehicles on the road, failure to follow the rules, too few people in passenger cars, so on and...