• Sunday, August 31, 2014

Op-Ed

Editorial

  • Editorial

    Enforced disappearances on rise

    Public security in question

    The rising trend of the incidence of enforced disappearances has come as a rude reawakening for common citizens.  That is more so because going by the versions of the victims' relatives, apparently members of different law-enforcement agencies allegedly 'picked up' those persons.  Disturbingly, the police, when approached by victims' relatives, are often found unresponsive to their concerns. A human rights body, Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), reports that some 74 people have been the victims of such disappearance in the first six months of this year alone.  Of those, 16 could be traced, while bodies of 23 have been found. It gives one the jitters, especially, when one compares the current spate of such incidents with the average figures of the past five years. However much the home minister may deny that these were cases of 'enforced disappearance,' or resort to semantics to call them 'abductions,' he owes it to the public to explain why those are happening in the first place.  Even if those are cases of 'abduction', then the responsibility still falls squarely on the shoulders of the police to rescue the victims as well as to arrest the perpetrators.   We believe it is the state's...

Opinion

SUNDAY POUCH

China fiddles: While Xinjiang burns

The far Western province of China known as Xinjiang is a huge swathe of land the size of Great Britain, France, Germany and Spain combined. If it was an independent country it would be the world's 16th largest. Xinjiang occupies 1/6th of the total land area of China but according to records from 2000, the province has 1.5% of China's population. The total number of people there is 8.4 million. There are two major ethnic groups residing there- the...

The silence of the BRICS

The world, it seems, is in the grip of geopolitical anomie. No leader, group of leaders, or institution commands sufficient authority to restore any semblance of international order and peace. For many, this global rudderlessness recalls Europe's sleepwalk into catastrophe 100 years ago. There are certainly some uncanny similarities between current events and that fateful time. The downing in eastern Ukraine of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 echoed the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in its recklessness, not to mention...

Amend Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Act 2012

Bangladesh is going ahead with the construction of a 2000 MWe nuclear power plant at Rooppur with Russian assistance. In doing so, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority (BAERA) was formed in 2013 following the enactment of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Regulatory Act 2012. The BAERA has the primary responsibility of ensuring the health and safety of the general public and the plant workers against any harmful effects arising from peaceful uses of nuclear energy. In order to carry...

Extreme poverty in the CHT context

Extreme poverty in the CHT context

To gaze upon a case study of redistribution of wealth in the wrong direction – from the poorest to the richest - one has only to drive through the hills of Bandarban.  Hills that were once covered in a multitude of life-sustaining vegetation now bear privately-owned, commercially profitable teak trees or tobacco.  These...

Knowledge is Power: Measuring knowledge to assess adaptive capacity

Climate change and its effects – swollen seas, stronger storms, saltier soil – have already disrupted thousands of lives across Bangladesh. Preventing widespread and lasting damage remains a top priority, but significant changes to the country's climate and geography may be inevitable. Our ability to adapt to those changes – to ready ourselves...

SHIFTING IMAGES

The dumbing down of art

There was a time when one could visit a close friend in the evenings unannounced. That's no longer true. Indian TV serials have now gripped the attention of most households to the extent that weeknights are literally off limits for social interactions. For quite some time I have been agonizing over the negative impact...

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Letters

Letters to the editor

Preparedness against Ebola threat

We should be in every way possible alert to Ebola threat and be prepared to prevent it. People should be made aware of the symptoms of Ebola infection so that they can take cautionary steps. The declaration of surveillance is one of the good steps taken by the government to prevent the deadly Ebola virus. Our medical teams will monitor international airports in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet as well as the Chittagong Seaport. Apart from that, mass awareness through...

Letters to the editor

Ban rickshaws on Rokeya Sharani

As a resident of Pallabi area, I frequently use Rokeya Sharani to go to the centre of the city. From early morning till midnight the road remains busy. The limited road space can not accommodate hundreds of buses and private cars which ply regularly through this road. Plus a large number of rickshaws use this road creating severe traffic jam. Nowadays rickshaw is no cheap transport. It is time consuming. Worse still, most rickshaw-pullers defy traffic rules. Rickshaws should be...

Letters to the editor

Why a third class is barrier to bank jobs?

It is a matter of sorrow for the job seekers that banks and other financial institutions don't allow candidates having one third division to compete for job exams, even if they have two first divisions. Students of lower and middle class backgrounds have to complete their education amid various difficulties. Out of bad luck one may get a third class, but that doesn't mean one is not capable of competing in the job market. We earnestly request the governor of...

Comments on news report

“Newborn stolen from DMCH rescued in Gazipur,” published on August 28, 2014

Litan Chandra Roy RAB has done a very good job. Mayen Uddin Tazim Thanks to the High Court for giving instruction for conducting a judicial inquiry. We also thank the RAB officials, who arrested the culprits. It is being suspected that some vested groups at DMCH may be involved in that incident. Rest in Peace Thank God, the baby has been rescued. Baz I am a serving police officer in London and truly believe the police/law-enforcers of Bangladesh are as good as any other in the...

Comments on news report

“Indicting opposition men en masse” (August 27, 2014)

Molla A. Latif The institutions like the police and the judiciary should not be used against the democratic rights of the opposition. And we believe, these institutions should also have the courage not to yield in the face of pressure to involve them in such activities.  

Comments on news report

“NBR tightens rules for rent payment” (August 27, 2014)

Dulal Good initiative. But will this effort be fruitful?

Letters To The Editor

Published Date: August 30, 2014
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

Published Date: August 30, 2014
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

Published Date: August 30, 2014
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...

Published Date: August 30, 2014
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...

More

Editorial

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Violent murders in the city

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...

Editorial

Published Date: August 30, 2014
Eviction drive in Turag

ANOTHER spurt of eviction activity in Turag is proving to be cosmetic , typically a case of morning showing the day.Impelled by a High Court order following a news report titled “Turag close to death” in this newspaper ,the three-day  drive to free Turag of some encroachments hit a snag on Tuesday,the  very first day of  its  launching. The  first thing to note is that by habitual or deliberate default ,eviction  drive is undertaken not   to nip an encroachment or...

STRAIGHT LINE

Published Date: August 30, 2014
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

Published Date: August 30, 2014
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...

Published Date: August 30, 2014
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

Published Date: August 30, 2014
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

Published Date: August 30, 2014
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...

Published Date: August 30, 2014
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...

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...