• Friday, September 19, 2014

Op-Ed

Editorial

  • Editorial

    16th amendment to the constitution

    Will it be the last nail in the independent judiciary's coffin?

    THE Jatiya Sangsad (JS) on Wednesday passed the 16th amendment to the constitution empowering parliament to impeach apex court judges for their misdemeanour or incapacity. It may be recalled that we had earlier critiqued in this column the cabinet's approving of the proposal on August 18 for this constitutional amendment. It's indeed a fateful moment in the nation's history since the bedrock of principles of separation of powers and the checks and balances between the three organs of the state on which the entire democratic system of governance stands have thus been negated in one fell swoop. And with this enactment, the government has effectively shackled the judiciary by leaving it to the mercy of the ruling party that can exercise its brute majority in parliament to unseat a judge. One is surprised by the manner in which some lawmakers from what passes for the opposition bench in JS as well as others from the ruling alliance and independent camps reversed their previous postures to jump on the ruling party bandwagon to vote in favour of the bill.  Significantly, these lawmakers had earlier proposed motions in parliament suggesting changes in the bill as well as soliciting public opinion...

Opinion

CROSS TALK

An embarrassment between the covers

THE Great Western Schism in the Middle Ages had lasted 39 years but ours has lasted longer already, that also to get incrementally worse. In 43 years that schism created a chasm, which has been debased into memory disorder. As a nation we can't remember anything either at the same time or together. The most recent book written by AK Khandker embodied that tragedy in the controversy surrounding it.  Like a knife, it as if severed our collective memory...

The distrust continues

VIOLENCE on both sides of the Pak-Afghan border continues. It is a dangerous trend that has evolved in recent years with no end in sight. As the foreign ministries of the two countries sparred over the implications of Punjabi Taliban leader Asmatullah Muawiya's announcement that his group will no longer commit violence inside Pakistan, but continues to believe in jihad elsewhere, Pakistani security personnel came under attack from Afghan-based anti-Pakistan militants. While a further escalation in tensions seems unlikely —...

PLEASURE IS ALL MINE

Sayedee's virtual reprieve ...

Sayedee's virtual reprieve ...

AS long as you can stay on the hot tin roof as the expression goes, Sayedee may have demonstrated his staying power. It was Alberto Sordi, the Italian film director and actor, who said, "Conscience is the quiet voice that warns you not to leave any fingerprints." But patently unconscionable as they were...

Australian terror plot foiled, for now...

IN recent raids involving nearly 900 police Australia's security agencies claim to have foiled a serious terrorism plot. But have they done enough since 2001 to address the causes of extremism rather than only the symptoms? Yesterday's raids on homes of alleged Muslim extremists in Sydney and Brisbane were dramatic. According to media reports, police and intelligence officials foiled a plot to kidnap a random member of the Australian public, drape them in the Islamic State flag and behead them...

HUMOROUSLY YOURS

I Came, I Saw, I Conked Out

THE judge listens to the arguments from both sides. He concludes: “I still can't understand where the problem is. Case dismissed.” The two Bangladeshi Associations of the same city, USA, grimace at each other as the defamation lawsuit goes down the tube. I am shocked. Just two groups only! I would have expected seven, given the large metropolis. You see, when you and I, two of Bangladeshi origin, are together, we form three groups – you are one group, I am...

STRATEGICALLY SPEAKING

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Trinamool-Jamaat nexus: A puzzle and a worry

EVERY action, apart from initiating an equal and opposite reaction also demands a loss and benefit estimation. One may argue that Jamaat might gain by funding Trinamool Congress (TMC), as was reportedly done before 2011 assembly and 2014 Lok Sabha polls. But one is still at a loss to figure out what exactly the TMC and its leader Mamata Banerjee wanted to gain out of the Jamaat's destructive politics in Bangladesh funded by TMC, which it has allegedly done....

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Letters

Letters To The Editor

Food adulterators must be punished

Contamination and adulteration of foods are now very common in Bangladesh. To extend the shelf life of food, unscrupulous traders are adding toxic chemicals in our foods. Fruits and vegetables contain high nutritional value but contaminated and adulterated foods are endangering human health. We want strict action from government against those who are poisoning us. Otherwise, days are not far when we will become a sick nation by losing our productivity. Murad Hossain Karwan Bazar, Dhaka  

Letters To The Editor

Crossing rail tracks dangerously

Crossing rail tracks dangerously

Your front page photos published on September 17 show us that it is not only the government that is responsible for the rail track accidents, but also the people themselves are to blame. In the photos it is seen that pedestrians dangerously walk or run across the rail track even when a train...

Letters To The Editor

Scotland's referendum for independence

This is with reference to the report, "UK leaders pledge support to Scots" (Sept.17). Not many know that Scotland was an independent nation till the beginning of the 17th century but it became a part of the Great Britain (now known as the United Kingdom), including Northern Ireland. The moot question is will the kingdom stay united, as it has remained so for more than three centuries? A section of the UK media is biased against an independent Scotland....

Comments on news report

“Cold chain can save food supply chain,” published on September 16, 2014 Tripura People of this country want to earn money in an easy way. If the government had the will, it wouldn't be hard to solve this problem. But the government was indifferent to it and now this has gone out of control. Hafizur Rahman The government is surrounded by unscrupulous businessmen who control the business from its top to the root level. Nasirullah Mridha Salim It is imperative to take stern measures against...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 18, 2014
“Solution simple”

The above-titled write-up published in your daily on 16th September tells us that the solution for preserving food in Bangladesh is very simple. We just have to set up some 100 cold storages. It further said that Bangladesh does not have to deal with the problem of formalin anymore if we install the cold chain or cool chain system in our food management process. We thank the writer for his thought provoking propositions. In Bangladesh we face electricity shortage regularly...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Reasons for labour unrest in RMG sector

Reasons for labour unrest in RMG sector

RMG industries are playing a very important role in the economic development of Bangladesh. But this industry is now in crisis due to repetitive labour unrest. The most common reasons for the labour unrest, as alleged by workers, are non-payment or deferred payment of wages. Despite their claims to the contrary, some garment...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Assault on teacher

On September 13 a former DU teacher Professor Mahbubullah was assaulted by some unidentified miscreants on the Supreme Court premises. He was there for attending a book launching ceremony. The perpetrators punched him heavily, hit him on the upper part of eyes and knocked him down. One couldn't even imagine 20 or 30 years back that a primary school teacher would be assaulted, let alone a university teacher. Teachers had always been respected in our society. A teacher shouldn't and...

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Comments on news report

“Too many cooks spoil the broth,” published on September 15, 2014 Molla A. Latif Too many cooks spoil the broth and too many laws spoil the safety. Thank God laws are not corrupt but their enforcers are. ***** “Amendments hurt judiciary” (September 15, 2014) Genuine Musafeer A very few people support the present government's unilateral decision to amend the constitution, leaving others' constructive proposals unattended. Critics say, they are doing this with a hidden objective to get everything under their (government) control. ***** “BNP learns from its...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Irregularities in some private universities

Recently in a seminar the education minister said they will cancel the registration of fifteen private universities. He also said that most of the private universities including Darul Ihsan University are involved in certificate business. Nowadays we have so many private universities in Bangladesh and thousands of students have been studying there. Some of these universities are unauthorized, while some act just like business entities selling certificates. Many a teacher of such universities lack proper qualifications and experience. Students...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Mitigating crop loss due to flood

Mitigating crop loss due to flood

The recent flood has damaged huge amounts of crops especially paddy. This will cause shortage of rice in the country. We should grow more crops particularly rice in winter to meet up the shortage. That way the price of rice will remain stable in the market. Shafkat Rahman BIAM Laboratory School New Eskaton, Dhaka  

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Complexity of Ukraine crisis

This refers to the report, "Impossible to win conflict by military means alone" (Sept.9). This realisation should have dawned on Ukraine government from the beginning of the Ukraine crisis. Being a puppet in the hands of the Western powers will not help the Ukraine government. It should also take a lead in convincing the West that sanctions against Russia are also another means of conflict. Negotiations across the table are the best way to solve the Ukraine crisis.   The...

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Comments on news report

“Pro-BNP teacher assaulted on SC premises,” published on September 14, 2014 Kiomi Ida Day by day we are becoming uncivilised. Kamrul Hassan Time has come to put a stop to teachers' politics. I am hurt. I think teachers' politics is ultimately responsible for such heinous incident. Look how he is selling this assault to gain favour in the future. Albeit he was assaulted yet he went with his torn shirt to attend another programme where his leader Khaleda Zia was addressing. ***** “Overtaking the West...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Govt. should not take decisions alone

Recently the government has taken some measures regarding the issue of impeachment of SC judges and National Broadcast Policy without consulting the stakeholders. It also sacrificed Bangladesh's candidacy for the UNSC in the same way. Government should not take decisions alone, and more specifically, about certain matters that are crucial to the country's interest. Accountability is important. In many countries all political parties unite on crucial matters. Our government will prove its wisdom and sensibility by listening to the other...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 16, 2014
This useless controversy should end

The recently raised controversy over Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Ziaur Rahman's role during the Liberation War should be stopped. Rather, we should analyse their post-war roles as the heads of the state. Because of the power struggle between the two parties, the helpless general people have become hostages. It is of no use to discuss whether AL is better than BNP or BNP is better than AL. We should rather discuss whether the commoners are provided with their rights...

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Dangers of antibiotics overuse in animal farming

Worldwide, antibiotics are being abused in animal farming in the name of boosting production of meat, eggs, farmed fish, etc. Overuse of antibiotics non-therapeutically is increasing antibiotic resistance among bacteria that cause human infections. Consumers are pressing the companies involved in the production of animal agricultural produces to completely eliminate the use of antibiotics in animal feeds for quick growth. However, it is encouraging to learn that Perdue Foods, America's third largest poultry producer has removed all antibiotics from its...

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Comments on news report

“4 killed, 5 injured at Karwan Bazar,” published on September 11, 2014 Dev Saha Why on earth people have set up bazaar on rail lines? Sayed Rahman Who should I blame for this? It does not make sense how people build kitchen market on rail tracks! Maybe we will see a drive against it, and within a month from the drive, the market will be set up again. ***** “Old formalin in new bottle” (September 12, 2014) Fakhrul Islam With unrestricted use of chemicals, we will become...

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Editorial

Published Date: September 18, 2014
SC verdict against Sayedee

THE Supreme Court in a verdict on Wednesday sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee to imprisonment till death for his crimes against humanity in 1971. While the victims' families and many others may not find it satisfactory we we accept this judgment which has been pronounced by majority opinion of a full bench of the Appellate Division. It has been delivered at the end of a long process of adjudication during which 48 days of hearings were held by...

Editorial

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Significant improvement in health sector

AS per a global study, Bangladesh has come out as one of 10 countries that have made commendable progress in improving child and maternal health. With child mortality falling significantly from 151 to 53 per 1,000 live births over a two-decade period, we welcome the continued efforts of primary health services in these areas. And it is not just children who have benefitted from better quality services; maternal mortality rates have also dropped markedly by 66 per cent over...

STRANGER THAN FICTION

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Obama has a “Strategy” now!

Obama has a “Strategy” now!

ONE may not subscribe to the conspiracy theories that imaginative Muslims have been circulating since 9/11 attacks, the latest being the portrayal of the ISIS “Caliph” as a Jewish, planted by Israel to further destabilize the region. One may, however, consider the formation of Obama's “Coalition of the Willing” of more than 30...

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Scotland: Yes or no?

THERE was an old lady in Dhaka in 1950s. She was believed to be over 100 years old! Obviously, she was born during the reign of Queen Victoria and lived a good part of her life during her time. Her fovourite possessions included a comb and a bottle of hair oil. She hardly complained about anything unless there was a delay in getting her meals, her bottle of hair oil was empty or her comb got broken or lost!...

7th Five Year Plan

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Include service-led growth

IN this era of globalization, when a poor harvest of corn in Mexico or wheat in Ukraine can potentially result in economic turbulence in Bangladesh, preparing a long-term plan is a very daunting task. It is always easy to plan something when things are in order and potential risks are predictable. With growing integration with the rest of the world, most of the risks that a domestic economy may face are unanticipated. This makes the implementation even harder. Despite these...

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Fix Dhaka first to help our life and growth

NOW Dhaka is the second worst city in the world in the global livability index just after Damascus.  We must ignore the case of Damascus since it is a war zone.  Then we are the 'proud owner' of the worst capital in the planet.  This adds another feather to our crown already overloaded with similar laurels for judicial tardiness, bureaucratic inefficiency, and corruption.  We Bengalis love to arrange numerous conferences on investment and growth, but we often forget that...

Published Date: September 18, 2014
Japan has little choice but to restart nuclear reactors

MEDIA reports (AFP, The Guardian, September 10, 2014) suggest that Japan is planning to re-start at least two nuclear power plants within the end of the current year. The Japan's Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) already accorded permission for switching two nuclear reactors at the Sendai plant in South-western Japan. NRA reviewed detailed safety reports followed by public consultations before allowing the go ahead to the reactors at Sendai. Two nuclear reactors in Japan briefly started last year. It may be...

Editorial

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Deaths in shootouts

REPORTS of persons suspected or accused of serious crimes dying in gunfights with law-enforcement agencies are again in the news. Take, for example, the death of Shah Alam alias Kailla Babu at Moghbazar in the city on Monday. Police say, during an arms recovery operation he was killed in an exchange of fire with the law-enforcers. But some locals who reside near the scene of the said gunfight gave quite a different version of the incident to reporters.         Last Sunday,...

Editorial

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Authorities' Eid promises

EVERY year around this time authorities give out blazing outlines about how law and order shall be maintained during Eid festivities. And practically every year we see a deficit in implementation. Precisely how this year it will be different is something to be seen. The usual promises have been made regarding prevention of extortion of cattle traders coming to Dhaka. Yet only yesterday, the lead item in a national Bangla daily has pointed out that the bulk of the...

GROUND REALITIES

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Our UN experience . . .

FORTY years ago, the People's Republic of Bangladesh made its entry into the United Nations as its newest member-state. The event was not only a reaffirmation of the country's determination to play an active role in the international community as a sovereign nation but also an acknowledgement by the global body  that the aspirations of seventy five million people, as Bangladesh's population was at the time, could not be ignored. Bangladesh's arrival at the UN was not a sudden event....

Exclusive to The Daily Star
THE WORLD IN WORDS

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Did Hamas win?

THIS summer's 51-day war on Gaza left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, over 11,000 injured, and vast areas of devastation that will take years to rebuild. After the third Israeli war on Gaza in less than six years, many Palestinians are questioning the purpose of continuing to fight – and hoping for a solution that does not increase their suffering. Can Hamas, with its newly acquired position at the forefront of Palestinian politics, provide such a solution? Before the latest...

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Education Day 2014: Way Forward

THIS year Education Day will be observed with focus on the slow implementation of the Education Policy - 2010 and the delay in the passing of the education law for which establishment of permanent statutory education commission, formation of teachers' recruitment authority and introduction of separate pay scale for teachers from primary to higher education level could not be realized. There is no denying the fact that in recent years the education sector has witnessed several positive changes such as...

Sixteenth Amendment

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Take people's view

THE government is moving ahead to pass the "The Constitution (Sixteenth Amendment) Bill, 2014. The bill has been placed in the Parliament and it assigned the parliamentary standing committee on the Ministry of Law and Parliamentary Affairs to examine the bill. The committee scrutinised the Bill in just two days. The Law Minister, who is also a member of the committee, during its meeting, informed the parliamentary watchdog about the government's unwillingness to hold any discussion on the bill...

Urdu-speaking minority in Bangladesh

Published Date: September 17, 2014
A citizenship sea change

A citizenship sea change

THIS week in The Netherlands, Bangladesh's little-known Urdu-speaking minority – often referred to inaccurately as 'Biharis' – will be centre stage at the world's first ever Global Forum on Statelessness. The conference, hosted by Tilburg University and the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR), will hear how an innovative new program in Bangladesh...

BOTTOM LINE

Published Date: September 17, 2014
Foreign Minister's visit to New Delhi

ON 19th September, Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali leaves for New Delhi to attend the third meeting of Bangladesh–India Joint Consultative Commission with his counterpart.  This will be the first visit of Bangladesh Foreign Minister to New Delhi after BJP formed the government last May in india. The meeting of the Joint Consultative Commission is likely to take place under the Indo-Bangladesh Framework Agreement on Cooperation for Development signed on 6th September 2011. The purpose of the meeting led...

Editorial

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Eviction from railway land

WE agree that railway lands must be freed of illegal grabbers and encroachment. And no one can take issue with the authorities for taking actions to ensure the safety of the railway tracks and the safety of the railway passengers. But we certainly take issue with the method of the drive which commenced recently to free railway lands. It is, to say the least, highhanded and most inhuman. We feel that the slum dwellers as well as the many...

Editorial

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Jaywalking across flyovers!

IF one has viewed our yesterday's photo series of jaywalking by pedestrians along the Gulistan-Jatrabari flyover near Tikatuili then one must have had a chill running through one's spine. The photos showed cluster of pedestrians risking their lives while scaling over and slipping through the divider along the flyover. This kind of crossing is not only unlawful but also dangerous as one is likely get hit by a wheezing vehicle any minute. In case of a flyover, a fast travelling...

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Not only fossil fuels

IT is little surprise that Japan is reversing its policy on nuclear power generation. Following the Fukushima disaster, the country had decided to take its nuclear industry offline to a great extent to perform (a) safety checks, and (b) to look at alternative sources for generating power. That experiment led to a romance with “renewables” and fossil-fuel. But the prohibitive costs associated with generating power from renewable energy including geothermal to solar has proved uneconomical. That end users, viz....

BYLINE

Published Date: September 16, 2014
The Union Jack, and perhaps Jill

FOR an Indian who has always believed that the partition of India was a deep, self-inflicted wound carved by a British knife, the thought that Britain might split into two nations on 18 September is not without some satisfaction. History is rarely synonymous with justice, but when the echo of some form of retribution fills the air, we might sit back and enjoy the music. On 18 September Scotland will vote on whether to continue the three-century old union with...

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Who should blink first: Nawaz Sharif or Imran Khan?

THE deadly floods sweeping through Kashmir in both India and Pakistan have brought the two hostile neighbours closer together. In a gesture of goodwill, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has written to his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif offering assistance in the relief efforts for the victims of the unprecedented floods. But will the calamity bring Sharif's adversaries at home closer to him? Imran Khan, a cricketer-turned politician, and Tahirul-ul-Qadri, a cleric, started a protest march in August to oust Nawaz...

Published Date: September 16, 2014
SAARC's attempts at regional poverty alleviation

EVER since its formation in 1985, SAARC has made several attempts to address the issue of poverty.  The SAARC Charter, drafted in 1985, referred to enhancing the living standards and improving the welfare of the people via regional cooperation. Initiation of Integrated Programmes of Action (IPAs) incorporated this people's welfare related objective in the Charter by forming IPAs in Agriculture and Rural Development, Human Resources Development, and Social Development. When the 6th SAARC Summit took place in Colombo in...

The Middle East

Published Date: September 16, 2014
Balkanization and US' full spectrum dominance

Balkanization and US' full spectrum dominance

THE tentacles of the balkanization policy of fragmenting states into small entities has spread worldwide initiated by civil rights societies at first with protests which have the flare of popular uprisings against the incumbent governments for democracy, human rights, minority rights and secularism. More is yet to come in the Middle East using...

Published Date: September 16, 2014
AL in power: Blessing or curse for JP?

JATIYA Party (JP), the opposition in parliament, has plunged into another spell of turmoil. Two of its MPs, state minister for LGRD Mashiur Rahman Ranga and opposition chief whip Tajul Islam Chowdhury were dropped from the party's presidium, the party's highest policy making body. And Ershad and some of his party loyalists boycotted JP's parliamentary party meeting held on Sunday. Raushan Ershad, also the leader of the opposition, held the meeting and extended support to Ranga and Tajul. The...

Editorial

Published Date: September 15, 2014
Save the moribund city

WE have used this space repeatedly over last several years to flag the dire straits that the capital city is in and the bleak prospect of its future as a city worth inhabiting. It already is the second worst city as far as the livable index is concerned and given the services rendered to the people living in Dhaka city, one wonders if things can get any worse for those nearly fifteen million of us who happen to endure...

Editorial

Published Date: September 15, 2014
Poor's access to justice

NEEDLESS to say,ensuring justice  to  poor multitudes  in our country should be a part and parcel of  our quest for establishing  a  rights based society. While there are efforts to alleviate poverty,implying a modicum of economic justice,they remain vulnerable to other forms of injustices in the social arena. A survey on the poor under a DFID supported Community Legal Service(CLS) programme  has revealed  that  95 percent  are unable to lodge FIR and 73 percent  to file a general diary.More than...

KALEIDOSCOPE

Published Date: September 15, 2014
War against the phenomenon of IS

US president Barack Obama in his 15-minute speech on September 10 outlined his strategy of expanding the ongoing US campaign against the phenomenon of Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), or in short, Islamic State (IS), assuring, in particular, his home audience that the US will meet the enemy  "with strength and resolve."    Evidently, Obama's latest announcement marks a significant departure from his earlier policy of disengaging the US militarily from Iraq as he had promised in his...